I am so freaked out.

So, I'll make my rambling short and sweet because though I have been ULTRA selective in my photo choices, I still have a gazillion to show you. All of them are in chronological order 'cept the first four which are by far the most important. So they are just thrown in there. Also I decided to go square minus twoish. Enjoy :)!
1. EVIDENCE THAT BRYAN AND I ARE ENGAGED! You see that ring? Yes! He proposed and we celebrated for several days in a row. Mom and Dad flew down to be with us, and Shannon drove up, Bryan's brothers and sister came to share the happiness, and all of my friends earned titles of The Best Besties in the World. It was truly perfect.
And, as I said, here we have The Best Besties in the World:
And for some reason a very cute Limbs, old school style (already a year old! What the heck!):
And just for fun some Ally and Toulouse. Whatever, so cute:
Some cute earrings I made last semester:

THE FOLLOWING IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!! In case anyone was wondering who defeated whom in this game of life, see below:
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand again if you need it closer and from another angle:
Such a cute semi-Purrito I can hardly stand it.
Such a cute fiance I can hardly stand it (p.s. this was Avatar 3D!!!!!!!!!!!!):
This was me and Sydney when we were picking out the Christmas tree. Sister, obviously. Here is a button nose boop through the ether.
So here is the part where for one entire weekend I pretended to actually be Sarah Garber. And I spent my time with fine company, indeed, at Emerson Point. The Garbers are very wonderful and the weekend was lovely and relaxing and fun and delicious.
Jenna is scandalous.

THEN! A CRAZY THING HAPPENED! It snowed A TON in Richmond. Here are just two pictures, not great evidence of all that snow but the textures are nice and yummy:

So, here are three paintings from last semester. This one is quite gigantic.
This one is petite.
And this one is somewhere in between.
THEN Jenna and I romped about in Costa Rica. We almost got eaten by a puma and I threw up A LOT. I didn't include the barf bag picture (as it is nasty) but if you wanna see it, I can show you.
Picture 1. This little guy was hanging out (haha!) outside of our hostel one nice.
3. This is a cozy little place in Manuel Antonio National Park, where we just sat beneath a tree on the beach and just enjoyed the breeze.
3. This is Jenna with a pretty mariposa.
4. These are ants. They are very common. And they crawled on us. And sometimes they are like war ants and they march in lines of four and five across carrying large green leafs.
5. Neaaaaaaat.
That is all. I KNOW, I know, not all that exciting. I have 1,000,000 more pictures, you know. Anyway, I hear about in interview in a few weeks, finish classes in 5, graduate in less than 7, and move down to Chapel Hill (hopefully!) in 8, and hitched in 6 months. What the heck.


I KNOW, I know. Too long.

I have been so very naughty when it comes to updating this thang. I always want to, you see, but then I get distracted and the longer I go without updating it the more likely I am to wait even LONGER because I feel guilty by how much you all have missed…
…you see what I mean? It’s a bad place, it is.
Truly, though, you have missed so much:

Proclamation Night:
(me and Jill! Jill is a very trusty friend, and we have lunch weekly to talk about life.)
This was such a beautiful night! For those of you who are not informed of the (semi-cult) practices of Westhampton College, I shall enlighten you. When I was a wee fresh(wo)man, I wrote a letter to myself, as did all other WC women. Now, as seniors, we opened those letters! It was very emotional, because a medium sized group of lovely girls (me included) went and had wine and cheese afterward and read our letters out loud. It was incredible to hear how pretty much everyone, to some degree, felt out of place and a little lonely in those first few weeks of school. It’s funny, though, because looking back I felt very isolated in that sense of loneliness. Little did I know that the girls I would become closest with over the following three years were all feeling the same way.
(me and Jenna! We are roommates and besties)
I will say, my letter was a little traumatizing. This was pre-Bryan times, you must remember. He does keep me in the Universe of the Sane and out of the Land of the Totally Mad. I wrote on the front, “DID YOU GO TO ECUADOR!? You better have gone…” and I did! I wrote about my expectations for myself, about the things that were important to me. Here are the things that my freshman self thought were very important: being unique, Jenna, Juliette, joining the Peace Corps, running, reading, love, and fluency in Spanish (with a few misguided notions I will omit). I love seeing how those things have changed and developed and been transformed by circumstance, and how much of a fuller person I am now, one who is much more comfortable in my skin.
(the apartment minus one. Kristen was somewhere else...)
Fall break at the Garber’s cabin with Kristen, David, Cameron, Jenna, Bethany, Ben and Chris.
(the Garber Cabin in all its glory!)
We drove up to Benton, PA on Friday afternoon, and stayed in the beautiful (albeit freezing) cabin until Tuesday morning. The weather was so beautiful—the air was so crisp, the leaves in the trees were painted all sorts of colors and the leaves on the ground were brittle and noisy when I stepped on them, the sky was so blue and the constant bubbling water just lulled us all into states of complete peace and relaxation. It was so beautiful I can hardly describe it. And we just ate good food. Danced. Played games. Talked. Oh, so wonderful.

Okay so around this time the conference Bonner Congress finally ensued, after months of planning. Success! And I made these really cool tshirts:

(le front above, and le back below)

Halloween: No photo evidence, but I DID go down to NC to visit Bry! We went to see John and Julie and in fact made dinner with them on Saturday evening. That morning, while da boyz went to figure things out with their cable company (lame), Julie and I went to the Carborro farmer’s market which is suuuuuuooooch a great market. Julie purchased one bag of variety fresh peppers and we purchased potatoes, parsley, and pork shoulder for our meal later. WHAT DID WE MAKE, you wonder? Well, we made potato soup and pulled pork with bread pudding for dessert! It was delicious, though as I came upon a bit of illness I didn’t actually get to enjoy it. The rest of Saturday and Sunday were spent with me being sick, and Bryan taking (very) good care of me. It was nice, once my fever broke, but I was all wimperey and sad and pathetic for Saturday afternoon/night/Friday morning. That also means we didn’t get to go to the Franklin Street celebration! Maybe a good thing, since we didn’t have costumes. It’s hard enough coordinating a costume with someone with whom you live, but try planning a constume while you are apart. It’s tough. And not exactly the most important thing on your mind. But next year (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) we will have costumes and we will go down there and celebrate and be merry!

Recently the elementary school at which I volunteer held a “Career Fair” (I know, I know…) and among the policemen and Sam’s club employee resided yours truly! I was representing “student” slash “college go-er.” I was asked to represent UR a couple of days before the fair, so I had some time to think about what I wanted the kids to walk away remembering. I decided a fun handout was necessary and whipped one together:
It is designed to be colored by the student, as we could only print it out in B/W. It was a great supplement to my “what do YOU want to be when you grow up!?” survey and teaching the kids the cheer “WE ARE! U! R! WE ARE! U! R!” I have so many thoughts on teaching, especially working with the elementary school and learning about different theories on children’s literature and childhood in my children’s lit class. I am writing a paper now, and in my research I have come across so many many many absolutely many theories on children’s literature and censorship and my brain is so confused. I can’t figure out where I stand. I want my kids to enjoy a sense of childhood (though that only exists because adults have deemed in necessary) but I also don’t want to shield them from issues that could otherwise be discussed in a safe and open way. For example, one of my favorite books is The View From Saturday by EL Konigsburg, and there is a swear word in it. So I hesitate to let kids read the novel, but assuming that a higher level of understanding can’t be taught is underestimating my capacity to teach and a child’s capacity to learn. It is a balance, I understand, and certainly not black and white. I would have resented my parents if they hadn’t let me read what I wanted to read. Luckily, though, when I read a book that disturbed me and offered views and perspectives that were different from my own, I truly believe that those novels challenged me to form and understand my own set of values.

And yesterday, our apartment went out to dinner and a concert! (photo courtesy of Kristen!)
Anyway, my mind is full of Thanksgiving with the boyfriend and family (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and with finishing my papers and exams and ohhh so many things while being distracted by Christmas lists and wanting to start putting together presents for the people I care about. I am also distracted by the thought of going home. I simply cannot wait. I miss my M and D and also Moosie and Ally and my sisters. And my phone is broken.

But life is so goooooooooooooood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Senior Year--this feels a little weird.

Today was the first day of classes. Technically not my last first day of classes, as next semester will be that, but my last first day of first semester classes and that counts for something, no?

I feel very calm about the start of this semester, like I am ready to conquer the next year and move into a new stage of living. This sounds crazy, I am sure, but I am looking excitedly forward to paying off my loans, getting a routine and job that will help me grow closer to what I really want to spend my life working at, getting an apartment in Chapel Hill, becoming a member of a small, public library, and cooking everyday. Nonetheless, it's going to be a really wonderful year--an apartment with three of my best friends, visits to NC to hike/cook/eat-pints-of-ice-cream with Bry, letters to and from Syda in FL, thesis (not to mention my Children's Lit. class this semester and a possible cartooning class next semester!), Stacy wedding next summer (bachelorette party, invitation design!!!!!!!!! everything, woot!).

I realized today, though, that I have left many people hanging as to my progress and my adventures this summer. So, here are some documented updates:
(p.s. I am surprised that people still read this, honestly. But that is great!)
(p.p.s. Updates go...backward in time. From recent to...less recent.)
A page from my children's book I am working on. The University did an online feature on me! This photo was included, and here is the link if you are interested in reading it: http://news.richmond.edu/art/features/art-sarah-nagel.html
Another two-page spread from my book. The University is also featuring this (I am so lucky, I know) in an Artes Liberales booklet they send out each year. I think I am on the back cover? Pretty cool!

The sisters, Sunset at Indian Shores beach, FL. We were there dropping Sydney off in St. Pete's at Eckerd College. I am on the left, Syd in the middle, and Stace on the right (poor Shannon was missing but she was there in spirit.)

The sisters! All of us! Sarah, Shannon, Syda, Stacy! This one (along with the next few) are from Sydney's graduation party in June.

On our way up to Jenna's cabin for the weekend (me, Juju, and Jenna) we stopped in Lancaster and went to The Green Dragon, A GIGANTIC FLEA MARKET OF SORTS where we got these Amish whoopie pies. This one was pumpkin, which is my favorite, and luckily I was in the back so I got a headstart on eating in before the others realized it was open. Yesssss.

We kayaked.

Bathed in the freeeeezing creek.

Got ice cream and enjoyed the serene, beautiful atmosphere.

This is the cabin! We went on the lovely hike that featured dozens of gorgeous waterfalls.

And to end this post, here is my handsome boyfriend with a 'mallowstache. I think he is quite wonderful.

Oh, and of course, the best news yet: my book list for children's lit!!!!!!

Harry Potter; The Secret Garden; Peter Pan; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Coraline; Charlotte's Web; Bridge to Terabithia AND MANY MOOOOOOOOORE!!!!!!!!

I love you all and p.p.p.s. I am melting in the hottttt VA weather. Honestly.