Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Move: stage 1

Last Tuesday night I began to process of packing up all my stuff for the first stage of my move to Columbia. Since my lease began earlier than I wanted to move to Columbia, I thought I would make the move in two parts-- which also allowed us to use a small U-Haul for part one and then just load up the car for part two.


I wish I had taken a photo of the inside of the U-Haul! I think my dad broke some world record as he Tetris-ed a desk, a dinning room table (with two removable legs), 5 chairs, a coffee table, a tv-table, a twin mattress, a twin box springs, a huge dresser, a shower rod, a curtain rod, two small bookcases, and a lot of packed, heavy boxes all into that small trailer! Suffice it to say, when we were done, the trailer had reached maximum capacity.  

And that's not even all my stuff. 

Still to go are all of my clothes/shoes/tv/love seat (which will get its own post soon!)/crafting supplies/misc. But those will all fit between the two cars we'll take up for my final move-in to Columbia. 

We took the long way up to Columbia-- we wanted to stop at a flea market/antique mall an hour or so outside of St. Louis. This route took us through my favorite national forest-- the Mark Twain National Forest where we stopped for a quick picnic lunch at an old abandoned town-turned park. Unfortunately, this route also took us through the bedlam that is St. Louis ten-lane traffic (I wasn't driving so maybe there were less lanes but it sure didn't feel like it) so this isn't a route I would take up myself. Which is sad because I love any opportunity to visit my favorite national forest.

The flea market stop was successful and I picked up a huge four drawer well-loved dresser (pictures later!).

After 8 hours, and as many stops, we finally arrived in Columbia and set about the very fun task of moving every piece of furniture into my semi-basement apartment.

Here's the before picture of my living/dining room area! Note the fireplace on the left wall :) The space is huge! More than enough room for me.

It was surreal to get keys to my very first real-world-non-Hendrix-off-campus apartment! The complex I'm in is very nice. Not only is it pet-friendly but it has a lot of security, which is great. It's a short drive from campus. If all goes well, I should be able to park at my church and walk the short distance to the physics building!

Flea Market Finds:

I thought I would share just a couple of the furnishings I got from scouring dusty flea markets/over-stuffed antique malls.

Isn't this cute? I found it when we stopped to get a dresser from a flea market outside of Farmington, which is close to St. Louis. It's funky and when I saw it I realized my search for a nightstand was over! It's solid wood with a leather top and two functional drawers. For those playing along at home, this piece was around 40 dollars. I probably could've bought a cheaper nightstand but it would have been cheaper materials. For what I'm getting, this piece is a better buy for me. 

While we were in Columbia we headed a mile or so out of town to visit the plethora of antique stores/flea markets that surround the city. I'll write a more detailed post about the stores but I wanted to share a great find.

We were browsing through the many stalls at a place called Veranda Antique Mall when I found a tub of hand-crafted photo mats! The map mat above really accents my photo of Big Ben. And the total cost?
Mat : 5
Frame at Hobby Lobby : 3.60 (use the 40% off coupon!)
Photo : 2.84
Total : 11.44 for a personal, gorgeous wall hanging 

This was another mat I picked up at the antique mall. It's hand-crafted and cost only 2.50! The total cost for this wall hanging was just over five dollars!

I love how the colors complete this photo of my roomeis and I :) It's going to be a change, to say the least, to live on my own as I have been spoiled with amazing roommates. 

Here's a panoramic of the almost-finished living/dining room! Fun story, that isn't my couch. As we were pursuing the antique malls, my parents stumbled upon this antique love seat that was in great condition. The fabric is in pristine condition-- with fabric on the back of the love seat as well, which meant it was pretty spiffy back in its time. When they saw the price of 48 dollars they were sold. Unfortunately, it wouldn't fit in the car on the way back home while still leaving room for me. So, it's hanging out in my apartment until I make my final move up in a few weeks when my parents will drop off my love seat and pick up theirs.

That's it! I still have the love seat to put in the apartment and a lot of decorating to do. But, for now I'm just going to enjoy the last two weeks of my (possibly very last!) summer before grad school started. I bought two of my textbooks today-- I can't wait to start classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and math methods (okay maybe I can wait on the math class).  

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a couple apartment crafts and flea market adventures!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Change Is Exciting and other lies we tell ourselves

In four short weeks I'll be in Columbia, Missouri starting a PhD program in physics.

I'll be trading the comfortable -- the green, leafy, haven of Hendrix, where all of my friends lived within walking distance -- for the unknown. My friends will be scattered around the US which makes for great road trip opportunities, but not great Friday night Catan/movie/over ambitious baking projects parties I had grown to expect. 

I'll be trading two(four) roommates and spontaneous Batman singing for a lovely one bedroom (with a fireplace! #winning #sorryforthehashing). And hopefully I'll be trading wild party animal neighbors for quiet, friendly neighbors. The will-there-be-vomit-on-the-stairs-today? game got old fast. 

I said goodbye to the physics professors who introduced me to the wonders of the universe -- my graduate application essay referenced that one lab sophomore year where we measured the charge of an electron, a fundamental property of the universe. I'll go from tutoring maybe one student a month in physics to teaching an entire general physics lab (by myself!). 

We tell ourselves change is exciting -- but it's not. 

I'm a creature of habit; I like my routines, as dreadfully boring as that sounds. Change is scary and annoying and wouldn't life just be better if it didn't exist?

But of course if there was no change, then I would have never gone to Hendrix and had the amazing time that I did. And I have a feeling that the University of Missouri will be much the same -- a nerve-wracking start that leads to a great time. 

Change sucks, but it can lead to some awesome things, awesome things that become clear once the chaos of moving settles down and new routines are established ((okay okay I think we can all agree that I'm basically 80)). 

I just wanted a brief moment to rant and rave before the adventure starts and I forget why I was ever stressed. ((Sounds ridiculous but that is what happened when I went off to college)) 

This summer has been spent scouring flea markets and antique malls and everything in between to furnish my new apartment. I found some great deals that I can't wait to share with you once everything's moved in and organized. 

Another thing you can look forward to are cooking blogs, as I'll be entirely in charge of my food. No cafeteria cooking and cleaning for me, no fresh fruit already cut for me in the morning. Man the real world is hard; I already miss the sandwich line at Hendrix...

As always, thanks for reading :)