The Adventures of H & Lars

Hello all!

Welcome back to my blog ๐Ÿ™‚

After an extensive hiatus, I have again returned to chronicle yet another exciting period in my life.
For those of you who have been here from the beginning, there are a couple of changes to note.

The first? My name! Due to recent branding efforts, I decided it best to no longer blog pseudonominously.  No worries though – my good friend Kealyn will surely be making appearances in the future!

In addition to now blogging as myself, you will note that what was once โ€œUnfettered: The Adventures of a Smalltown Girlโ€ has now become โ€œThe Adventures of H & Lars,โ€ in an effort to accurately describe this new season in my life.

Which begs the question: WHO IS LARS?

Unfortunately, Lars is neither my boyfriend (single – 24 years and counting!), my dog (Iโ€™m looking for one btw, so if you have connections, lemme know..), or my pet plant (accidentally killed the last one.. sorry Verne..), but rather my beautiful car that I get to travel ACROSS THE COUNTRY in this year for Optometry school.  Iโ€™m thrilled.

And I hope you are too.
Because thatโ€™s why Iโ€™m back!

As a final change, youโ€™ll hopefully notice that some modifications have been made to my website to *try* to make it more professional.  (Okay, so I added a resume.)  Chances are Iโ€™ll continue to edit it for the next year as I begin to use this as a platform to find a job and the like. In any case, feel free to explore!

Til the next time!


How Do You Even Write..?

So I think it’s been a sufficiently long time since I blogged… I guess that means it’s time for a life update. In the typical numbered fashion.

Here goes.
1. Summer
Summer was fun.  So there’s that. Insert lots of vacation, little bits of work, more food than was necessary, and freedom for MY LAST SUMMER EVER.
2. Opt-II life
So, as can be expected, I’m back in school.  Last year I was super excited to be an optometry student. This year – ehhh… I loved the freedom of summer, so coming back to the life of studying and classes and such has been quite the struggle. Slowly but surely, however, I’m getting back in the swing of actually using my brain (it’s a really feeling after turning it off for the summer). Today, in fact, we have our first clinic proficiency, which is both terrifying and exciting.  In this, we have 15 minutes to perform slit lamp  and tonometry (checking pressures) on one eye of a patient.  I’ll let you know in about 5 months how it went ๐Ÿ™‚
3. House manager
I’m co-house manager at the frat house this year, which is my newest and most interesting adventure.  For instance, my first night back for the year, someone blew out all the pilot lights on our stove.  Cue waking up the next morning to the smell of propane.  Thankfully though, we got the house aired out without any major problems (i.e. Explosion, sickness etc).  Day 1 survived.
This week’s adventure has been mice.  Sunday night, upon returning from a weekend trip home, I was greeted by a dash of gray flying by my feet.  Not terribly concerned, I made a note to get some mouse poison and a few traps in the coming week.  However, when I met another mouse friend Monday morning in the kitchen while eating my breakfast, my chill plan to eventually take care of the mouse problem was upped by…6 days.  Nine traps, 3 boxes of poison, and 2 sonic mouse…things…later, I felt more than prepared to take care of the pests.  In my mind I pictured catching a mouse in each trap for most of the week, and then being rid of our rowdy rodents.  Current mouse count? One.  Just one. But hey, one down, 599 to go.
Well, I should prolly peace out for now – the first group of proficiency peeps should be about done.  Maybe now it’ll be my turn…
Later y’all!

Counting: My Saturday in Numbers

Hey All!
So this is me sucking at blogging.
      I guess it’s good that I don’t do this for a living…
In any case, I’m Back!
      Well, at least for 10 minutes, but whatever.
The past month or so has been relatively uneventful, but that’s a post for another day, because today, all the bore of the past 4 weeks was solved in one fell swoop! Here’s what happened:

5. Pieces of Pizza
For some reason, people are appreciative of you attempting to carry 3 boxes from a moving van to the house and up a flight of stairs.  This is something that I truly don’t understand, but hey, it meant free pizza – delicious pizza at that! So obviously I had to eat 5 pieces.

Shut up. Calories don’t count on Saturdays.

4. Wrong turns
And so we meet the return of Directionally Challenged Kealyn, who, even with her phone out and maps up, managed to make 4 wrong turns in a single trip.  My “I can actually navigate” pride is a bit wounded.  But that’s okay.  I did (eventually) make it to my destination!

3. Hours of Driving
I love to drive.  It’s probably one of my favorite pastimes.
Just kidding.  Gas is much to expensive for it to actually be a hobby for me, but I do genuinely enjoy driving.  So when I had the opportunity to drive 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon to (attempt to) help one of my best friends from Opt School move, of course I agreed!

2. Missing Keys
Unfortunately, before leaving the house this morning, I COMPLETELY FORGOT to pick up my house keys for the city house.  Which I realized when I was 7 minutes from my destination.


Thankfully, i don’t live alone.

1. Dead Car
Victor, my beautiful, stubborn old van, has been struggling for a while.  And today, I think he finally called it quits, threw in the towel, and gave up his ghost (transmission).  Thankfully, however, he was very thoughtful and waited until I pulled into my friend’s parking lot.

I think I may hold a small funeral for Victor for all of his wonderful service during his past 7 years in my possession.  Anyone who is interested, may join. Condolences and memories of this old friend may be posted in the comments.


Yeah, today was interesting.  Now to see what tomorrow holds!

-Catch ya on the flippity!

Life Update… Aka Study Break

Hello all!

Oh wow.  My blogging has obviously gotten away from me this semester, but I wanted to take a quick study break to give you all a quick life update.

So, what’s been up?

Well, this semester, I had the pleasure of joining the Professional Students Orchestra (I played trumpet!), an H2O City Life Group (super cool group of people around my age that gets together and talks about life and God) annnnnd… Yeah.  That’s about all the new groups that I joined lol.

overall, this semester hasn’t been crazy stressful, but somehow I still have managed to keep busy for the past like 3 months.  I’m not entirely sure what I spent all my time doing… I mean, aside from studying.

Other notable events, were:
1) attending a fantastic lecture from Dr. Patrick Quade of the College of Vision Development (COVD).  He talked a lot about the benefits of Vision Therapy on both children and patients with traumatic brain injuries.  It was honestly one of the best lectures that I attended all year, and I can’t wait to find about more about COVD and vision therapy in general.

2) attending Dinner with the Docs.  This was a largely networking event, but I honestly just went for the food (it wasn’t as good as I had hoped).  I did, however, hear some interesting stories from current optometrists.  So I guess the night will count as a win.

3) attending the EYE spring banquet.  I’m admittedly not a huge one for going out to parties, but this was a super fancy event meant to celebrate the fourth year EYE members, several of which have lived in the house with me.  All in all, despite my hesitancy to go, it was a great night, and I am definitely looking forward to attending next year.

4) attending Scholar’s Dinner.  This was actually a super recent event, in which I had the opportunity to meet the optometrists who provided my scholarship this year.  Some parts were a bit awkward, but the food was excellent, and my donors seemed really cool, so I was very glad to have had the chance to meet them.

5) figuring out how to get onto the house roof.  So yesterday, because of all the great weather, I made it my goal to figure out how to get onto the roof here at the house (where I’m currently sitting and writing this post).  Twenty minutes and several scratches later, I found myself overlooking this fabulous city that I am currently living in.  Seeing the city from up here has really reminded me of all the reasons that I fell in love with the city when I first moved here… It’s just beautiful.  There’s so much diversity and life constantly surrounding me, that I’m almost constantly in awe of.  I’m so glad that I get to spend the next 3 years here ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of three years… Somehow, this semester (and consequently school year) is already nearing it’s end.  In fact, in just (I think) 3 more weeks, I will be completely done with my first year of optometry school.  It is absolutely crazy.  I cannot believe that the year is almost over!! As much as I’m not ready for this year to be over, I’m definitely looking forward for a break from the stress of almost non-stop studying that it feels like I’ve been doing recently.

Finally, I would like to officially announce that I will be biking 100 miles in one day this summer in support of cancer research, as well as running a half marathon this coming fall to support a local children’s hospital.  Both of these will be pretty taxing on my body, but I’m excited to have an excuse to get in better shape over the summer.

Well, catch y’all on the flippity!


I think it’s bedtime..

Hey Howdy Hey beautiful Internet world!

Holy cow.
I am exhausted.
With a capital E.

It’s been a long day.  From class at 8 (with a minor delay of getting a ticket, having to move my car, and struggling to find a parking spot), to Panera with two of my favorite Opt-1’s (THERE’S A PANERA AT THE HOSPITAL NOW!!), to studying and making dinner, to my first ever orchestra practice (that was rough… Maybe I should stop telling people that I play trumpet..?), to a nearly 3 mile run, to another round of studying, and finally to this moment where I am cuddling in my hammock with my stuffed penguin writing about my day, I think it’s safe to say that Groundhog Day 2016 was a success!

And now, I should head to bed so I can start do it all again tomorrow!

Jk. Tomorrow will be completely different… After all:

Tomorrow is Opt 1, Semester II, Test I.


Yeah… It’s bedtime.

Good night moon… Good night stars…
Good night Internet.. Good night cars…


Love always,

Monday Afternoons

Let’s be real.  Is there any better time to write a lovely “This is my life” blog post than a lazy Monday afternoon?  I think not. So without further ado here is my most recent life update: Monday Afternoons

Holy cow.
I am exhausted.
It may only be going on 3 in the afternoon, but I feel like it should be time for bed.
Okay… Not quite. But I am super tired.
Let’s chalk that up to a great weekend of pledge week activities (i.e. Games/trivia night, initiation (and then a hunger games binge watch..), and skit night/after party) and a lack of coffee.
Side note: Coffee may be my new addiction this semester, as I realized this past week that I can get a 12 oz cup of coffee for a mere $.69 at the hospital cafe. ๐Ÿ˜
Anyway, so what’s new in my life?
Well, with two weeks of the semester now under my belt, I’m finally beginning to fall back into the school routine.  Thankfully, my schedule this semester is absolutely fantastic.  I may have an 8:00 class every day of the week except for Monday’s, but I’m also out of class by 3 every day except for Wednesday’s. This beautiful schedule not only forces me to be up and productive in the morning, but also allows me to get a great deal of studying done in the afternoons/evenings, and still have time for fun! (so far anyway..) Additionally, it currently seems like only 3 classes will require any intense studying (well, I guess it was pretty much the same last semester…), which is sure to free up my time as well.  Shout out to hours of playing piano, cooking, watching random movies/TV shows, and pretending to be artistic.
Long story short, it looks like it’s going to be a stellar semester.
In other news, in addition to being initiated as a member of EYE Fraternity (or frarority) on Friday, I also was in clinic for the first time as an optometry student.
I loved it.
For me, anyway, it is very easy to forget the joy of working with and helping others (a large reason as to why I’m in the field of optometry) when I spend most of my days studying somewhat dry material in a single room with the other 64 first year optometry students.  Being in clinic, though, was the perfect reminder of why I love optometry and was super excited to become an optometrist.
As a final bit of school related news, I am pleased to say that I passed my first final of my second semester today!
This semester, our online coursee was Microbiology, which included 8 chapters and 5 quizzes that could be completed at our leisure.  Last semester I waited until almost the end of the term to take the online final, which only increased my pre-finals stress.  This semester, I instead wanted to finish the course early to relieve as much stress as possible.  After finishing all of the quizzes the first week of classes, I studied periodically for the past two weeks, and decided to take the final this morning.  Twenty minutes and 55 minutes later, my testing was complete, with a passing score of 85ish.  No complaints here!
Though it may seem some days like my life only consists of school and frarority life, I am some days reminded of the beauty of the world outside of this tiny bubble of grad school.  My most recent highlights from life in general have been:
1. learning to cook with quinoa
For those of you who have never tried it, quinoa is the current suupergrain of choice. It cooks essentially like rice, and contains an impressive number of vitamins/antioxidants/etc.  I have yet to perfect using this as a rice substitute, but my chicken quinoa stirfry last night was pretty on point, if I do say so myself… ๐Ÿ™‚
2. Letters!
So, as a random fact, I love writing and receiving letters (hint. hint hint hint. hint). It should come as no surprise then that my highight of the day was receiving a hand written letter from my little brother in the mail this afternoon. Day made <3
Annnd…I do believe that’s about it for now.
Catch y’all later!

EYE Pledging

So, in my last post, I completely forgot to mention anything about going Greek round 2… Or in other words, pledging EYE.

EYE is the name of the fraternity (or frarority as my dad calls it) that owns the house in which I live.  Since I love living in the house and want to continue to do so through most of the rest of my graduate school experience, it only made sense for me to rush/pledge EYE.

Now, admittedly, I loved going Greek in undergrad.  It was a great time, and it stretched my boundaries.  While I was excited to rush as a graduate student, I was honestly a bit hesitant as well.  Social situations have never been my strongest suite, and branching out and attempting to be social with a large group of people that I don’t know is very difficult for me.

Which is, approximately, 98% of Greek life in my estimate… large group settings where I pretend to enjoy the environment, while all the while wishing to be in my room or with a small group of people that I am comfortable with.

I guess that’s a bit beside the point…

Anyway, tonight was (sort of) the end of pledge week, marked with an event called Trivia and Games Night (or something similar)…. Which is pretty self-explanatory.

It was a blast.  And it left me covered from head to toe in syrup, Rice Krispies, and flour.

And a bit tired for my first day of clinic tomorrow.

All in all though,  I am very glad to have had the opportunity to go Greek again, and I am super excited for tomorrow night’s initiation.

Deuces y’all


OPT-1 Take 2: Let’s Do This

Annnd I’m back!

After an absolutely fantastic three weeks off, I’m back in the city staring my second semester of graduate school in the face.
Which is just a bit crazy to think about.
But I’m pretty excited..  ๐Ÿ™‚
In any case, here’s an overview of my past three weeks of freedom!
1.  I survived finals!
Way too many hours of studying finally ended on the 17th of December after a minor (ish) mishap that led to my final final being delayed by over an hour.  All’s well that ends well though, and a trip to Graeter’s Icecream with my two closest friends from optometry school definitely made for a good ending to my first semester!  Additionally, when grades were posted about a week later, I was pleased to see that I only missed my goal of a perfect 4.0 by one class.  Unfortunately, the B+ that I pulled in that class did drop my GPA to the lowest it’s ever been, but hey.  It’s grad school. I’m happy.
So, in anticipation of my last 3 weeks of freedom for another semester, I made a Winter Break 2015 Bucket List that looked something like this:
2. Lunch with two of my best friends from home
As always, the three of us went out for Chinese, and then spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on each others lives and playing a rousing game of Therapy.  Or something like that.  It was terribly fun, and was a perfect way to start off my break!
3.  Weddings!
This break, I had the fantastic opportunity to go to two weddings – one for one of my sorority sisters, and another for a random friend of a friend.  Both made for great nights, full of dancing and fun with some of the people that I love the most!
4.  Work on Music
So, in my spare time, I like to pretend that I’m super good at music.  And so, with this in mind, I made it a goal to try to finish writing my first true mashup.  Unfortunately, I still have the final chorus left to finish, but great progress has been made, and I can’t wait until it’s finished!!
5. Schoolwork
It’s truly never-ending for a grad student… even when the semester is over.  I, however, successfully avoided most all schoolwork over the three weeks of break, and so still have it hanging over my head.  I sure hope it doesn’t decide to fall soon…
6.  Binge watch movies and TV shows
What winter break is truly complete without a Lord of the Rings marathon, plus a viewing of Elf, and Les Mis, and a binge watching of Broadchurch?  None.
7. Learn violin
Ahem. Fail. How about summer break?
8. Read!
Though I had much loftier goals, finishing two books in the first three days of vacation was all the more that I accomplished.  Nevertheless, it was the most reading that I had done in a year, and so I felt accomplished.
9. Bake.
Spending time in the kitchen is one of my favorite past times, so it should come as no surprise that I made over 8 dozen cookies in the first week of my break… and spent the rest of the time eating them ๐Ÿ™‚
10. And spend time with my amazing family <3
And now, I’m tired of blogging for the night.
Good night, y’all!

Finals Week Take 1

Good news everybody… I survived my first final!!

This morning marked the official start of the insanity commonly known as finals week.  Thankfully, my most difficult final was this morning at 10:00, and so, while I don’t get to take it easy for the next week, it should (hopefully) be a little bit less stressful from here on out.

Key word being “hopefully.”

In any case, I should probably get back to studying for Ocular.

Oh wait. I haven’t started yet…


Keep your eyes peeled for more finals week updates from the city!



‘Tis the Season

Gah.  I had a fantastic post in mind, but then I realized that it was more highly suited for my school-sponsored blog, and so published it there.

So why am I writing a blog post to say that this is not what I was going to write?
yeah… I have no idea.
Minus the fact that I drank 2 cups of high-test coffee today.
Yes, I was physically shaking after the first cup, but I chose to drink a second anyway.
Let’s be honest.. who really needs sleep?
In other news…
1. I survived the rest of my second round of midterms!
Scores are in, and I was very pleased with the results.  Hallelujah!  I might pass my first semester as an optometry student!
2.  Practicals were a different story
Today, I took my first (and only) ocular anatomy practical.  It did not go near as well.  But the prof made up for it with coffee.  So I’m still happy
3. Investing is cool
So one of the classes that we take as a first year is called “Careers in Optometry.”  I’m honestly not sure if we talked about careers once in class, but the professor did share a lot of information with us about finances, business, and reading personalities.  As an end of the semester assignment, we were told to find ways to invest $10,000 of imaginary money, monitor it for a month, and report back.  After a bit of research, I finished the investing stage of this project tonight, and I’m honestly super excited to see how my choices turn out!
4.  Bibibop is stellar.
This evening for dinner, I had the opportunity to try Bibibop (think Korean (maybe?) Chipotle) for the first time.  It was amazing, and I will definitely be returning there at some point during the course of the next 3 years.
5.  Shepherd’s Pie
I love to cook.  This much you all (should) know.  Last night, as yet another kitchen experiment, I made Shepherd’s Pie for the first time.  I honestly have no idea what this dish is supposed to taste like… but I’m pretty solidly in love with whatever I made.
6.  “No, I don’t know what you’re talking about”
Do any of you nod when you’re following what someone says in conversation?  I really don’t know if this is a normal response or not, but I pretty consistently nod whenever I’m following what someone else is saying.  Unfortunately, people (ie my professors) take this to mean that I have experienced whatever they are talking about… and then ask me about the experience in front of the class. #awkwardmoments
7. Because 7 is a perfect number.  And Christmas is awesome.
Hey guys… it’s December 1st!!
Which means that it’s officially okay to start preparing for Christmas.
*Cue Christmas music*
I’m honestly having a hard time containing my excitement.
‘Til the next time!