Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beautiful Bloomington

When Kara and I returned to IU, we tried to take advantage of the slow time that we had before school started (and before the crazy, lost freshman got here). One of the main things I wanted to do was to just walk around a lot and get to see the campus again. Being in the business school exclusively does have its benefits - but I rarely get to walk around the other parts of campus and see the surroundings. So before we started classes and entered into deep intellectual discussions about fair value accounting (exciting, I know), we went on several walks and reminisced.

Kara and Mr. Hoagy Carmichael
Above is a monument that they just installed last year. During the snowstorm last year, I remember the snow going all the way up the legs of the piano and up to Hoagy's lap.

Showalter Fountain (I heard there is a new garden around here, Kara...)
Also, the Showalter Fountain is near to the place where I asked Kara to marry me. Thankfully she said yes, and I later told her that I wanted to kiss her while we were both standing in the fountain, which turned out to be pretty awesome, albeit cold.

State Bird Sighting
There was also a great little flower garden (below) that we discovered on our walk. It was around the mansion that is next to the Mighty Jordan River and Ballantine Hall. It was an awesome garden, and the shaded area was great because many flowers on other parts of the campus were wilting due to the heat and lack of rain.
A Jungle Garden
There were also a ton of butterflies fluttering around all of the flowers and I found what actually happens to be my favorite butterfly. Kamaron always referred to them as "Swallowtails", which I took as fact (until I learned that everything he said was not completely right and challenged him weekly with an encyclopedia). They are definitely called swallowtails, and I was pretty pumped to see some.

The blue on the "tails" is the best part
Classes start next week. I sense a future post (or two).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Tour of the White House

Kyler and I have been in Bloomington for less than a week (without school, internet, cable, or roommates), and our entertainment options are running low. We've rented four Redbox movies since Tuesday and nearly conquered the entire Wii SuperMario game. To say that we're bored is an understatement. I had to take matters into my own hands and look for an alternate source of entertainment.
Kyler looking goofy by the welcome sign

Not many people know that I'm a history buff. I'm not one to sit around and spend all hours of the day studying history, but I love learning about how others lived before our time. So Saturday, I told Kyler we were going to visit the Wylie House. I didn't know much about the Wylie family, but I knew there was a Wylie Hall on campus and figured there must be a connection. Little did we know that Andrew Wylie was the first president of Indiana University.

A mural of the old campus adorns the foyer walls
 Right off the foyer was a formal entertaining room or the parlor. Every last detail in the room was evidence that it was public space, down to the woodwork around the windows. You'll have to take my word for it though, because I forgot to take a picture in this room. However, right off the parlor was the master bedroom. This bedroom also had formal woodworking, which leads historians to believe that because of the big family or big social gatherings that the large doors connecting the two rooms would be left open to expand the entertainment area. (Thank goodness times have changed. When we have social gatherings, we CLOSE all the bedroom doors.)
Master bedroom/additional entertainment area
Then came my favorite room in the house: the kitchen. I love kitchens for two reasons: 1. Good food comes from the kitchen and 2. The kitchen is the room that seems to evolve the most as time goes on. Bedrooms haven't changed much since the 1800s, but kitchens seem to change every decade. Thankfully, I have a kitchen that is many decades past the Wylies' kitchen. I can't imagine cooking over coals or lugging in food from the ice house for twelve, yes the Wylies had twelve, children.
Kitchen Stove
Six years ago a Wylie relative died and bequest the china set below to the museum. This set included 500 pieces, and according to our guide, all 500 pieces were probably used at once during family gatherings. Twelve children that probably each had twelve children of their own for however many living get the idea.
This next pictures are of the girls' bedroom and bathroom. This space was shared by five Wylie girls.
Five girls' bedroom

Five girls' bathroom (also in the aforementioned bedroom)
 The oldest Wylie child had just moved out when the Wylie house was completed and ready for the family to move in, and two of their boys only lived in the house for a couple of years. The Wylie family must've really wanted their chidren and grandchildren to come back and visit because there was a room specifically for guests. Guests in those days were definitely different from guests that visit me. They would stay for extended periods of time, like...not just the weekends. To me, it seems like they practically moved in with the family. They stayed for months, but they at least they had their own living quarters, or rather their own room (as in ONE room (as in a typical family had MANY children that stayed in ONE room!))
Guest Room
Also upstairs was a boys' bedroom, a small boarding room for students at the university, and what Kyler calls (much to my dismay) a woman's work room. This room featured equipment for spinning wool, sewing, and lots of other textile work that I don't really understand.

It was in this room that our tour guide asked us if we knew what room we were standing directly over. Without hesitation, I said the master bedroom, and that was correct. The tour guide seemed shocked that I knew this and informed me that I was "very spacially aware." I'm not sure what the means, but apparently not many people get the answer right. Then she went on to make a point that the work room was usually located over the parents' bedroom so that when people were working, the parents would not be awakened. Neither Kyler nor I understood her logic, but we didn't ask any questions.
Woman's Work Room
And with that our tour was concluded. There were a few other interesting parts of the house I wanted to share with you though. 

Our tour guide showed us an old black and white photo of the old Wylie woman sitting in a rocker. Behind her was a bookshelf, and hanging from the bookshelf was a tiny little potted plant. Upon entering the foyer, there was huge potted plant. I'd say it was at least two feet in diameter and was still overflowing. As it turns out, the plant in the foyer is the same one in the photo, and it is at least 100 years old!

Mrs. Wylie's Potted Plant
Both the upstairs and downstairs have wonderful, spacious porches, and the front porch is surrounded by beautiful flower gardens. As we were standing on the upstairs porch, I looked down at the flower gardens and immediately thought of Kyler's dad Kim. Kim loves to grow anything, anywhere. His technique is not to have everything perfectly positioned but to let things look beautiful in their own natural state. I love his technique, and I loved the gardens at Wylie house. For those who know Kim, you can't tell me that you wouldn't be surprised if he had planted this garden himself:
Front garden, view from above
I had a great time with great company at the Wylie house. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon getting to know more about Bloomington and IU's history. I love visiting these old homes, and for a little while I wish that I had been able to live during that era. By the end of the tour, though, I was hot and hungry. It was nice to be able to jump into the car, turn on the AC, and grab some lunch on the way home. And then I realize that I'm really happy that I live in the time that we do, and tonight I will thank God for the modern conveniences that I take for granted every day.
Kyler leaving the Wylie House Museum

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Bachelor Pad

On Tuesday, Mom and I loaded up the van and my car and headed back down to Bloomington for my final back-to-school mother-son move-in. After seeing how filthy some parts of my new house were (namely the kitchen and bathroom), Mom couldn't bear knowing that I lived in an unclean house--so she decided to come along to help get this place in order. Again, thank you 1000X over for coming to help--I would be cleaning for the rest of the week if you hadn't helped.
The Bachelor Pad
Here is a picture of the outside of our house, located just a few blocks off-campus. Living with me (but yet to move in) will be two of my closest friends from school - Jason and Adam. I am definitely looking forward to spending the year with them, especially after spending the past three years of my life in the dorms.

Apparently, the front door is Mom's favorite part of the house
The space in the house is great, considering I have spent the last three years of college in 12x12 squares, also known as dorm rooms. Don't get me wrong, I loved the convenience of living on-campus, but after spending the summer in our spacious home, this is sure to be a much smoother transition.
Living Room
Please note that the flowery couch in the bottom-right of the picture is Kara's, not ours. I am pretty packed and loaded with furniture right now, as Kara has a lot of her stuff in my house because she is temporarily living with her friend Claire until her lease starts next week. (Another moving story - I can feel it already.)
Note: Mom literally spent 5 hours working on the kitchen just to get it this clean. Thanks again!
Below are a few more pictures of my self-proclaimed Bachelor Pad. I can only use a name such as that for the next 9.5 months, so I am taking advantage of the opportunity.

Bedroom - thank you, Mr. Obvious
Office Space - call me Bill Lumbergh
Hallway with toilet (AKA Bathroom)
I have orientation starting next week, and my friends are moving in within the week. Look forward to more excitement!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chipmunk Cheeks

This summer has been wonderful and full of many exciting things. I had my first internship, spent a week at the beach, turned 22, and most importantly, got engaged. This week however, was definitely a week I could've skipped--the week to end my summer vacation. I spent my last week of summertime cooped up in the house...with chipmunk cheeks.

My dentist has recommended I get my wisdom teeth out for a little over a year now. When I went back in July, though, he STRONGLY suggested that now is the time. I was a little wary, but then he said something about getting them out before I got married and while I was still on my parents' insurance and blah blah blah...I was convinced. (Sorry Mom and Dad). So Thursday, I went to the oral surgeon and had all four wisdom teeth removed. To say that the whole thing went smoothly is an understatement. I had a great doctor (of course he was great, he was from IU), and I didn't feel a single thing until the last tooth was coming out. Even then, I only felt a little pressure on the bottom side of my jaw. On the way home, though, the numbing started to wear off, and that was no fun. So since Thursday, these have been my best friends:

I have never been one to take drugs, legal or illegal, but I have been at the mercy of these guys to keep me comfortable. So far, I have had no side effects or symptoms, but I HAVE had some of the most bland foods in my life. Sorry applesauce, I love you, but I'm going to have to boycott you for a little while now. Here has been my diet until today when I finally tried big person food again.

Thanks Mom and Grandma and Kyler for taking care of me, and thanks to the Grays for feeding me grown-up food again. I guess now that I'm getting all better, I can think about going back to Bloomington for my senior year. What a way to end the most wonderful summer vacation!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome to Our Blog

Welcome everyone to our blog! In order to keep in touch with our ever-spreading friends and family, we thought that it would be great for us to maintain a blog to keep everyone "posted" about what is going on in our lives. We cannot guarantee the greatest content (after all, we are just 20-something poor college kids), and we cannot ensure the most frequent posts in the world (don't count on more than one a week), but hey, isn't mundane life exciting enough?

Thanks again for checking us out. We aren't exactly sure on what you should expect as far as future posts go, but be sure that we will keep you up to date with our lives and experiences at IU as well as the planning and excitement of our upcoming wedding.