Saturday, May 28, 2011


I've always been a journal-er. I think I got my first journal in the third grade. I've been hooked ever since them. Sometimes I go through spurts where I write a lot every single day (like this past semester, especially March & April) and other times I can barely sit still long enough to write. These past few days I've been attempting to clean out my room and get rid of somethings that I don't need or use anymore. When I was cleaning out my nightstand, I came across all of my old journals.

I've been skimming through some of them and it's pretty funny to read. My earlier journals include statements like, "I just relized that I play flute and piano & thats on the cover. Cool Anin't it?" and "OMG today @ rehersal I relized that I like one of my best guy friends!" It also includes detailed lists of what I got for Christmas and my birthday, and a play-by-play of what I did when I was at camp. As I got older, I began writing to God and actually analyzing what I was feeling and applying meaning to situations that were occurring in my life. It's funny reading some of the things that were such big deals in my life and barely remembering them. It's a real life reminder that not everything that seems like the end of the world will still effect us down the road.

I love journaling because on paper I am able to really figure things out and articulate how I feel and what I am thinking. I am best able to communicate with God on paper. I think in this loud, constantly moving world, it can be really, really hard to listen to ourselves and with God. That's another reason why I love to journal so much. It's a time for me to sit, quiet myself, and just listen to what I am feeling. I am able to reconnect with myself and with Jesus.

This summer, I want to journal more than I have the past two summers so I can continue to be self-aware and connected to God. I think that journaling will help me stay focused on what is real and true and important, and it will give me something beautiful to look back on how I grew this summer at camp.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Royal Affair

I've always been fascinated by fairy tales. I think that might be why I like Taylor Swift so much. I know this isn't that unique of a statement - most little girls love the idea of princesses. My love of fairy tales was more than just unicorns and magic wizards; I loved historical fiction. Yes, Ella Enchanted was my favorite book and I love stories like that, but I also have a secret obsession with the medieval and colonial time periods.

One of my favorite portions of history to read about and learn facts about is King Henry VIII and all of those shenanigans. My friend Sarah loves Anne Boleyn (once we texted all day long about her life) and I've had many conversations with my boss about King Henry's life. So when the Royal Wedding came about, I thought I would be hooked. But I really wasn't that interested in it. However, after spending time with Emily and analyzing the complexity of their lives with my boss, I became interested. So when my mom asked if I wanted to go see the Princess Diana Exhibit with her, my sister, and my grandma I decided it would be interesting.

They wouldn't let us take pictures in the exhibit, but it was really interesting. I didn't really know much about Princess Diana before, and it was cool to learn about her life. There was a section on her childhood, her wedding (with the dress!), her funeral, her fashion (complete with 28 of her outfits), and her charity work.

I really liked that she didn't let her fame get to her head and lose who she was. I kept reading over and over that Diana knew how strong her voice was, and that she could truly make a difference.

"I knew what my job was; it was to go out and meet the people and love them." - Princess Diana
Rarely do we see a public figure truly focus on loving others, and I think that is one of the reasons Diana fascinated so many. She became a Princess, every little girl's dream, and took that power and used it to help people. While her title gave her access to the world, we don't need to wait to become a princess to help others. We have the ability to make a difference today by loving others. There are countless opportunities in our own backyards to give back. If you can't donate money, that's okay. What matters is whether of not you touch the lives of others, and that can be done so many different ways. God gave us different talents and we are called to use them to serve others.

 "Only do what your heart tells you." - Princess Diana

That's what I want to do this summer - I want to go out, meet all of the campers and staff members, and love them like Jesus. I want to use my talents to the best of my ability to serve Jesus and to serve others. I want everyone I encounter to feel special and I want everyone who comes to camp this summer to have the best summer ever. I am excited about the unique experience that will be summer 2011 and I cannot wait to see what Jesus has planned for me.

I'm Being Peer Pressured Into Posting.

Thursday was the start of Survivor/Amazing Race training. I had so much fun being reunited with old staff and getting to know new people before the summer started. It was a great opportunity to work on our team building skills and come together as a smaller group before the who staff comes together. I love that after 24 hours you feel really close to camp people. It made me even more exited for staff training. I seriously cannot wait.

Thursday night, I got to see Arielle. I helped her unpack her car for a little bit, then we went to Dairy Queen and had real conversations about life and God. It was so good to see her and I can't wait until we get to be real life friends this summer.

Friday was the end of training. About a half hour later, Sarah Mooney got to camp. We sat on the floor in Shoshone and packed my suitcase and caught up after being separated for a week and a half. We laughed a lot and Sarah got to make some new friends.

After a night out with some great camp friends who I hadn't seen in awhile, I flew home for my sister's graduation.

When I got home, I got to hang out with my mom for a bit and shop for my sister's graduation present. We had a lot of fun at the mall hanging out with giant pretzels and visiting the American Girl Doll Store.

On Sunday night, the 2011 class of BVN became high school graduates. I'm so proud of my sister and all of her friends. It seriously feels like we just moved here & I was meeting them as 8th graders for the first time.

There were two speakers from the graduating class. The first one asked, "we have been hearing since we were kindergartners that we are the future, but when does it begin?" He then spoke about how we have no greater time than the present. The junior/senior choir sang "This Is The Moment" from Jekyll and Hyde, which has a similar message.

It was also fun to hear the Chamber Singers sing the traditional graduation song. I'm not sure why we sing this because it's really sad.

Today we celebrated my sister's graduation with just our family. Being home for this short amount of time is good, but it makes life a little hectic trying to squeeze everything in.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Best unplanned surprise ever.

I've been living in the health center at camp. On Monday, I helped out Jessie, our CAC queen for the summer. But there was really nothing else for me to do. So after going through the entire Pathfinder folder and meeting with Ben, my partner for the summer, I took an impromptu road trip to Carmel to see Molly.

I love Carmel. I lived there for 12 years and moved when I was 16. I love how many trees are all over the place and how far apart everything is. I like all of the roundabout and the new constructions. I like that every time I go there, something has changed. I also really like that I can still pretty much get anywhere without having to ask for directions.

It was so good to see Molly last night. We caught up on life and were just plain goofy. I can't wait to spend all summer with her. We made a bucket list of things we want to accomplish over the summer on our nights off. Highlights include:

1. Get to the other side of the high bridge.
2. Go through the Jungle Car Wash.
3. Create a flash mob on the pedestrian bridge.
4. Take a float trip down the Tippecanoe in inner tubes.
5. Dress like rednecks and go to Indiana Beach.
6. Go country line dancing.

Today, we got lunch at noodles with our friend Lesem. We sat in that restaurant for 3 hours and talked about our past two summers and how this summer is going to be so different. We think that's a good thing. We're excited to be together in two weeks for the summer.

After we left noodles, Molly & I decided we needed something sweet. So we went to Dairy Queen and got some delicious ice cream. On the way, I was telling her all the differences between Carmel and Leawood and my two high schools. We were super close to Carmel High School, and we joked about going in and walking around. Feeling adventurous, we did. It was SO WEIRD walking down the senior hallway. The current seniors are people from my sister's class, so it was kind of fun seeing the faces that I knew on the locker signs. Molly and I were trying to figure out if we knew anyone, when lo and behold, we see ELLYN!
She was picking up her yearbook since she graduated in December. Then, Sarah Wright texted me. I told her about our random encounter. Luckily, she was nearby. So she obviously stopped by as well.
It was so funny that all four of us met up at CHS. None of us go there. I also got to talk to Sarah Mooney on the phone for five minutes while we were there. It was so great..

To continue with the random encounters of the day, I decided to show Molly my old house. We drove around my neighborhood and realized we were super close to the Stein's. So we decided to stop by and say hello to Sydne and Zoe. It was good to see them before the summer started!

Then it was back to Molly's where we cut some ribbon for her brother's wedding and chatted with her mom. Then it was time go to back to camp. I got lost.

Tomorrow morning is the start of survivor and amazing race training. I can't wait to do team building and start meeting some of the staff. It is going to be a GREAT summer.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Growing Up.

I've been thinking a lot about growing up these past few days.

Our beautiful seniors have officially graduated and are going out into the world to become "real" people. They are taking with them memories of laughter and tears and all of the things they have learned about themselves. They are leaving behind hurt, things they don't like about themselves and are becoming who they are. But more importantly than that they are leaving behind a legacy of what they did their four years in Delta Gamma. They are leaving us with how important sisterhood truly is and how to always put your sisters first. They are leaving behind excellent leadership terms, lessons learned the hard way, and a chapter better than they found it.

This summer, I am going to be a leader at camp. I am not only going to fully invest in every single girl in my cabin this summer, but I am also going to be responsible for an entire unit. I will be making sure that the counselors in my unit are happy, successful, and have the resources to be the best that they can be. I am going to have more responsibility and it is going to be a completely different summer.

And then after that I will be a senior at Drake. First my term on Panhellenic will end, and then I will graduate. I am going to have harder classes, there are going to be thirty new members that I won't know, and I won't be living in DG. It's going to be such a different year.

I was talking with my good friends Jordan and Ryan tonight, and after they left I started thinking about how different I am from last year. I feel like I've really begun to grow into who God wants me to be, and I don't want to loose that. I look back at who I was a year, two years, even five years ago and I feel like I am so different and was so young back then. But on the flip side of that, I can't help but imaging how I am going to feel at the end of this summer and at the end of next year. It's so funny that in three months, I'll look back on who I was in this moment and feel so much older and wiser. And I think that's a good thing. I know who I am, but I don't want to ever stop growing and changing. Because I think that means I've stopped learning. And if I've stopped changing and growing, I think I'll regress. I don't want to forget all of the lessons that God has taught me and the things I've learned about myself throughout the process. I think thats one of the reasons I started this blog. To track that progress of what I've learned so I don't forget. I don't want to forget how much I grew at camp last summer, how living in DG changed me even more, and about things like spring break. Those moments were important in shaping who I am today.

That's another reason I really like goals. I want to be able to track the progress I've made and see what I've accomplished. When I leave camp in August, Panhellenic in December, and Delta Gamma in May, I want to be able to see the legacy I've left behind. I want to be someone who was a good leader and stuck to their core values. I want to have been a person who put their friends first and always cared for others. I want people to have seen nothing but love and truth from me. I want them to see Jesus radiating out of me and I always always want to be positive.

This summer at camp and senior year are going to be so different for me, but I think they're both going to be incredible. And I think all the life experiences I've had are really going to prepare me for those times. I can't wait to see what is in store for this summer and my senior year. Things are going to be really, really different. And that's okay. These changes will allow for me to continue to grow in my relationship with God and to continually discover who I am.

And I'm excited to see where God takes me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just go with it.

Today was the first day of coord training.

It was so good to be reunited with friends, talk about the summer, and start learning what it is going to be like to be at camp in 2011. We have a great leadership team and I'm so excited to get to work with all of these people this summer. It was a really great day filled with team building, goal setting, communication, and learning about our roles as coordinators. Apart from the ridiculous team building course that Tom made for us, my favorite part was when we learned about our personalities. It was cool to see what our partner's personalities are and how we can best communicate with them. It was also really fun starting to plan things for the summer. Lake Village is going to be awesome. I can't even wait. When we were done for the day, we went back up to the TLC and spent time being friends.

Ali & I tried on Joy's toe shoes.

Then we hung out on the back porch and talked about life in true summer fashion.

Finally, Ali performed her stand up routine for us. She went to comedy school all semester and learned to be funny. Good thing she was already hilarious. She's super funny and we loved her routine.

Tomorrow is more planning, goal setting, and team building. I love being here.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Today was a little bit bitter.
1. Microeconomics final
2. Packing
3. Moving out of DG
4. 7.5 hours in my car
5. Stand still traffic once I got into Indiana
6. Getting lost in Gary, Indiana
7. Saying goodbye to my friends
8. Leaving before the seniors graduated and knowing they won't be here when I come back

But, today was really, really sweet.
1. Giving a friend a friendship bracelet in hopes that we'll stay in touch over the summer
2. Singing really, really loudly in my car
3. Talking to my mom on the phone
4. Getting to CAMP!
5. Being some of the first people to sit on this chair

6. Talking to Sarah Wright about life on the chair (I haven't seen her since August - so weird!)
7. Learning that animals really like me, and not so much Sarah

8. Seeing Adam, Krafty, Keith, Dave, & Beth and chatting for a bit.

Right now, I'm blogging with Sarah at her house. In the morning, we have coord training. It feels like summer. Life is really, really good.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Gentle Reminder From a Movie.

This past week, I watched the movie Charlie Bartlett. It was a cute movie with a good overall message. There's a scene in the movie where Charlie gets in trouble, and the principal says to him, "What you do in this life matters."

I've been sitting around studying for my finals and doing all sorts of things for and with our seniors before send them off into the real world, and that moment from the movie has really struck me.

I think that is a concept that has really escaped a lot of people. That everything you do matters. We get so caught up in the glamour of this world; we want to be rich, we want to be famous, and we want to be important and remembered. So we cut corners a little bit to make things easier on ourselves. We live in a world where it is so easy to go through the day without actually connecting with another person. Yes, those things would be nice. But they mean nothing if you are not true to yourself and invested in others.

So as our seniors are leaving and as we are all trucking through life, I want to remember that quote.

"What you do in this life matters." What are you going to do?

Friday, May 6, 2011


Sarah Wright had a great idea. What if all of us who blog all post lists about the same topic on the same day? It would be pretty cool because we are all very different, so we would have very different answers in our lists. So we decided to go with it! Check out the links on the bottom of my post to see the other lists!

Top 10 Rules for Life
1. Pray. Everyday. As often as you can. It doesn't have to be super serious or super formal. Just talk to God. Send him little messages. Tell him when you're stressed, what you're upset about, why you are really really happy right now, and why you're excited. Yes, he already knows. But having continual conversation will enrich your life and bring you closer to Jesus. This prayer is crucial and will enrich your life in ways you did not think was possible.
2. Do what you love. Whether it is just a hobby on the side or your full time job, it is necessary to have something in your life that you truly love.
3. Figure out what your values are and stick to them. Don't change them for anyone. Not for a friend, not for an organization, not for a boy. Your values will define who you are. If you don't know what they are yet, that's okay. It takes time to figure these things out. And they will ever morph to who you are. But your values will help you make those really tough decisions when the going gets rough.
4. Invest in genuine relationships. Spend time with people who make you a better person. Don't be friends with some one out of connivence to either of you. Do it out of love, trust, and truth.
5. Give people your full attention. This means turn off your phone. Shut down the computer. Get away from technology, and really really listen. I think listening is a lot harder than people realize, but it is a necessary skill. Giving people your true attention is one of the most precious gifts you can give them.
6. Get outside of your comfort zone. Go to an event that you usually wouldn't. Befriend someone who thinks differently than you. Move away from home. Do something that scares you every now and then. It will help you figure out your values and make you more grounded in who you are.
7. Try everything once. This goes along with #6.
8. Be spontaneous. Even if you have to plan it. There is a special sort of joy that comes from doing random, silly, and crazy things out of the ordinary.
9. Keep in touch with those you love. This one means a lot to me. When I moved from Carmel to KC in high school, I took the view that it was my "curse" in life to be far away from those that I love. And as I've grown older, I've learned that it is unrealistic to live in a little town with everyone that you are close with. I wish this were possible, but when it comes down to it, we all have different dreams that we want to pursue. All staying in the same town would simply hold us back from our dreams, and that is not what friendship is about. Friendship is about supporting each other in all that you do. Since people I love live all over the United States - New York, Texas, Indiana (a lot of people I love live all over this state), Chicago, Kansas, Minnesota, and Iowa - I've learned that I have two options: mourn the loss of friendships and only be close with those physically close to me or put in the effort. And I will always vouch for putting in the effort. It might mean unsuccessfully trying to set up skype dates, ridiculous updates via text messaging, awkward time differences, saving up money for road trips or flights, but it is all worth it.
10. Learn to say no. This one took me awhile to figure out. I cannot do everything. If you try to do everything you will simply not be able to give your best effort towards all those things. So learn to say no, but don't forget to say 'yes' every once in awhile.

Top 10 Random Things About You
1. I can't swallow pills.
2. I used to write and direct plays with my cousins.
3. When faced with the choice of talking to friends or sleeping, I will always choose staying up with my friends.
4. My favorite dance move is titled "stir it up." 
5. I can't fall asleep without reciting at least a small portion of "night prayer."
6. I've never had a pet, except for a fish I won at a carnival in 6th grade. He only lived for a week.
7. I hate diet coke.
8. I'm addicted to coffee, but I think its really gross. So instead I fill it with sugar and creamer. Or get an expresso drink. Yum.
9. If I had all the time and money in the world, I'd scrapbook my life in extreme detail.
10. I am obsessed with musicals. 

Top 10 Really Unique Things You Really Love About Camp
1. When Scott makes us hug five people during the staff meeting.
2. The moment after a camper's parent leaves. I love seeing how the kids react, whether they sit in their bunks, go straight to a familiar face, or branch out. This time and the walk down to swim checks has the ability to set the tone for the week.
3. Passing people on Lake Hill. Ok this isn't that unique, but I love this part of the day.
4. "The Devil Won't Allow." I absolutely love singing this song at opening campfire. It's all about things that the devil won't allow, and then doing exactly what he doesn't like. My favorite verse of this song is "the devil won't allow no kind words around here" because everyone goes crazy during this verse. Campfire explodes with campers and counselors running and around hugging each other, shouting kind words, and complimenting one another. It's so happy and there is so much laughter and joy that happens during those 30 seconds.
5. Wearing side pony tails.
6. When the bathroom door is unlocked in the LV cabins. When this happens, the cabins connect and you have one GIANT cabin with your neighbors!
7. Wishing and hoping for grilled cheese and tots for lunch. Mainly because it never is grilled cheese and tots for lunch.
8. Jump roping before lunch.
9. Pretending to have really serious conversations or intense fights on the silent bridge.
10. Making up traditions for each week with your partner. Last summer, Sarah would always tell our kids a bed time story and I would always sing them a song good night. So on Fridays when we were both on, she would make up the most intense and hilarious stories and I would add the sound effects and sing parts of it. Always hilarious. I'm not sure how we ever got our kids to fall asleep after those stories...

Make sure you check out the lists that Alli, Soaps, Molly, Annie, Sarah M, Mel, Maggie, & Sarah W wrote!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Come for the Races, Stay for the _______.

Relays. Drake's favorite tradition. My freshman year, it was the 100th annual Relays and it was a big deal. It was fun to start off Drake's tradition with that, and it's been fun to see how different each Relays experience has been. 

This year, I liked catching up with DGs who graduated the past two years. I liked sitting with Nikki & Emily and watching the races. I liked seeing people I know from being involved on campus and getting to know them more. I liked dancing and having fun with my sisters. I really liked people watching, especially watching the alums. I liked going downtown and listening to a live band. I liked my and Carley's adventure on Saturday.

So fitting with the theme of the 2011 Drake Relays, this year I "Came for the races, but I stayed for the memories, adventures, sisterhood, and celebration.