I'm back!

I've been pretty busy with school lately, and I've been out of town for the past couple of weekends, so I haven't taken the time to update. Here are the highlights of the last few weeks:

- Two weekends ago my first cousins Emily & Erin, along with my second cousin Tommy came to stay Friday night with me and my sister and then on Saturday, we drove to Arkansas to watch my other second cousin Ryan play basketball. It's his senior year of college, so we thought we'd go see him play at least once in our lives! It was a lot of fun hanging out with everyone- we stayed with Ryan's parents (my mom's first cousin and his wife), who have a really cool big new house. It was a long and tiring weekend, but so much fun to see some family that we don't get to see that often! Here are a few pics (I hope no one minds... I don't think any of my family members are in the witness protection program or anything!):

Ryan on the bench (he's the gigantic white guy).

Playing spoons - clockwise from the curly ponytail: Dani, Blake, Kyle, Emily's feet in the chair, Ryan, Ryan's girlfriend Sam, Sam's friend Erica, and the back of Erin's head.

Me (looking bedraggled), Erin, Blake, Tommy (sportin' the Napoleon D. 'do)

Somehow we forgot to take a group picture of all of us, so I don't think I have a picture with everyone in it. Sorry to disappoint those of you who would care. (Hi Kim!)

- Last weekend I went back to P-town to my parent's house. They're remodeling the entire house, so I wanted to see the beginning stages, plus I hadn't been home for a month or so. The house is going to look completely different, but it's going to be so cool! All tile floors in the basement, hardwood upstairs, new paint everywhere, and new countertops and applicances in the kitchen. Perhaps I'll have some photos of that to post later. While I was there, I did the bulk of the work for a project I had to do for my 3D Design class. We were supposed to build a bridge-like structure that would span 30 inches, hold up an 8.5 lb brick, and build the whole thing out of popsicle sticks, string, and wood glue. Here's my Frank Lloyd Wright/Craftsman-inspired solution to the problem:

I was happy with the result. It took forever to build, but it held the brick and my classmates seemed to liked the design. My professor kept it for the end-of-semester student exhibition, so I guess she liked it, too!

- The Missouri Lincoln Days were this weekend, here in Springfield. (Lincoln Days is a gathering of Republicans, where we take over a hotel and have banquets and meetings and then stay up late hanging out in hospitality suites hosted by various Republican groups and officials.) The officers of my Young Republicans group all went last night and for a while today, and we had a good time. We sold t-shirts as a fundraiser, which was pretty sucessful. The most exciting part happened this morning at the Missouri Federation of Young Republicans meeting, where the state chairman gave out awards, which were the result of nominations from YR clubs across the state. The Greater Ozarks Young Republicans' website won Website of the Year! Since I designed it, and have chosen web design as my future profession, it was cool to receive a bit of validation for what I've done, even though it isn't much at all compared to what I have in my head that I could be doing. Go check it out at www.GreaterOzarksYR.com! (You can also see the t-shirt we sold there-- which I also designed. Let me know if you'd like one; we still have a few to sell!)

I guess that's all I have right now. I'll try to be better about updating more frequently! Also, what do you, my cherished loyal readers, think of the new look?