April 2015

At this point, I am basically done with my freshman year of college, minus a few finals next week. That is just unbelievable to me! Why does everything have to go by so fast? Here are some highlights from April!
April 4th
Ben and I spent the day in Cookeville. We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, and then went to see Burgess Falls. It was beautiful, and since it had rained the night before, the water was really moving. We didn't get as close as we had hoped; you can walk down to bottom if you want. It was super misty and slippery, so we didn't make the trek all the way down to the water. But, it was still a fun day! Ben and I really enjoy hiking, and seeing the falls was well worth the walk. (Although, if you really want a fun hike, you should try out Cummins Falls, which is also in the Cookeville area. It's incredible! You walk through water almost the whole time. There's also a swimming hole, but I must warn you: the water feels like ice!)  

My grandparents, all nine grandkids, plus a boyfriend and a fiancée.
Easter Sunday
On Easter Sunday, my family always goes to my grandparents' house after church for a big lunch and, of course, the annual Easter egg hunt. As we've all grown up, the Easter egg hunt becomes smaller and smaller: this year we only hid 30 eggs, and only four or five of the grandkids participated. The rest of us, who had been told that we were too old to hunt, hid the eggs. And we hid them well, placing them high in trees, (partially) burying them, and hiding them in tall grass. (Hey, might as well make the younger ones work for it!) It took close to 30 minutes to find all the eggs, but we had such a good time. We finished up our afternoon with a kickball game among the grandkids, which was hilarious to say the least. (The Baker family is a pretty competitive lot, even when it comes to backyard kickball games.) It was a fun day, and one of the few times out of the year where everyone is able to get together. 

April 11th
Ben came up for one final weekend in Knoxville. We were so lucky that the weather was nice, too. Usually when he comes up to see me, it's rainy and gloomy. (Well, I say "gloomy." He prefers "beautiful." He kinda likes gray weather. Weirdo.) We went to the Knoxville Zoo and had so much fun! We got there right when they opened and beat most of the crowd. The thing about zoos is that sometimes the animals just don't want to cooperate and come out to be seen. That wasn't the case for us! We got to see everything from lions, to red pandas, to chimpanzees. (Fun fact: I have a picture sitting on this turtle when I was three years old. When I saw it, I knew I had to have a picture, even though someone didn't really want to get in the picture with me.)
April 18th
I came home for one final weekend just in time for Julie's junior prom. (Look, Julie! I'm blogging about you!) She looked stunning, classy, and very elegant, and whoever did her makeup (ahem) did a fabulous job! I'm so glad she had a good time, and her dress was absolutely gorgeous! This weekend, I was also able to hang out with the Hoot family (Ben's family) on Saturday night. A night with the Hoots always involves delicious food, a walk down to the ferry landing, a game or a movie, and just an all-around good time. You never know what might happen! (By the way, Mrs. Stacy makes the best peanut butter milkshakes I have ever had!) 

The End
As April comes to a close, I am neck deep in final exams and projects, packing up my dorm room, and spending some time with my friends who I probably won't see until January when I return to UT for the spring. Fortunately, I only have two finals left early next week, and Ben is coming up on Sunday to take some of these tote boxes home for me. (I don't even want to try fitting all this into my little Focus.) Also, my student visa came in! (Yay!) It feels so good to have that settled! 

As much as I love it here, I am definitely ready for summer break. (Remember once when I said I might do summer school? Ha! Not this year.) Maybe it's all this time I've been spending in my room studying and packing, but I'm really ready to take some time off. (I'm especially ready to take a break from chemistry, but alas, it seems that Organic I and II are in my distant future. At least I won't have to take any chemistry in New Zealand. Woohoo!) April, you've been fun. But I know that May is going to be even better! 


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