Friday, May 30, 2014

7QTs on travel, carnivals, and the cold water challenge

I'm blogging from my phone at the airport today, so sorry there is no fancy 7QT image today. 

1. Happy May 30, people. Tomorrow is the last day of May and today I am flying to Florida. It's gonna be so great. 

2. Have you heard of the Cold Water Challenge? Basically it's this thing where someone challenges you to immerse yourself in cold water in some capacity & donate $10 to a charity of your choosing within 24 hours. If you don't do it, you are supposed to donate $100. If you do it, you get to post a video to facebook and then challenge other people to the CWC. It's a fun way to have fun and generate giving amongst younger people.

3. Maddie nominated me. Shere's my video:

My friends are the worst & didn't participate. 

4. This was a great week full of friendship and fun. My friend Katherine is leaving on the World Race right before I get back from NST, so I won't get to see her again until May 2015. So we obviously had to take a goodbye selfie. 

A friend from college is currently on the race and it seems like a really great program. I am so excited for Katherine and the lives she will change and the community she will build! Support and follow her mission here. 

5. Speaking of selfies, it was revealed last night that my roommate Michelle hates the word, "selfie." Obviously, Jenna and I proceeded to force her to take her first ever selfie. 

6. Last weekend I had the privilege of driving 8 hours to West Point, Nebraska to watch Shelby & Calvin get married. They are beautiful people with big hearts for loving others and that was evident at their wedding. Hundreds of people came out to pray and celebrate with them as they started a new chapter of their life.

Shelb was beautiful and Calvin didn't stop smiling all day. It was so great to be a part of their day, and I hope for many blessings upon them as they start their new lives together!

7. It's a big weekend happening right now. Camp Tecumseh Staff Training starts today, all the missionaries arrive at FOCUS New Staff Training tomorrow, and the FIRST EVER NST WELCOME CARNIVAL IS ON SUNDAY!

Seriously, you guys, this is gonna be big. At camp, we pull out all the stops to welcome the new staff to the community and make sure they are included and feel cared for. It's loud, it's big, it's crazy, and it's fun. FOCUS does a great job of welcoming us, but it's easy to feel lost that next day when you don't know anything or anyone. Since my first year I have wanted to do something big to kick of NST. This is my chance to shine. But more on that next week - I've got a flight to catch!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

MAY in Review

May has come and May has gone, thank you Jesus.

I'm glad this month is over. It's been a long, stressful, and lonely one. Summer Training has finally started, and we are entering into a new season in FOCUS and in my life.

So, how'd I do on that May goal of cleaning my room, you ask? was clean...ish...

And then I had to pack for a weekend and empty out my car in one hour and pack for a month at Ave Maria. #excuses's not clean.

It's clean, ish. Clean enough that I won't hate myself when I get back to Colorado after NST with the cat in tow.'s to keeping my room with Cait at Ave clean? Dangit.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#YesAllWomen Deserve to be Unashamed

So, I am definitely late to the game on this one, but I went to see Once a few weeks ago with my friend Elizabeth. I had heard great things about it, it won a Tony, and I love performing arts, so everything added up for it to be a great night.

image via.

I've seen the movie, but I loved the character of "girl" so much more in the musical. I was so struck by her entrance and first few scenes.

image via.

She steps on the stage, so confident in who she is. She sees "guy," playing music, and she likes what she hears, so she asks for more. She does not let his insecurity or a fear of rejection stop her. She knows exactly what she wants: to get "guy" to keep playing music, and she is not afraid to pursue it.

I am afraid I am not enough and that I am too much at the same time. This fear stems from many wounds, many lies, and many deep-set sexist attitudes I've grown up with in the culture.

image via.
If you have looked at social media at all in these last few days, you will have noticed the #YesAllWomen hashtag trending.

This hashtag, this movement, is trying to get at the deep issue that over and over again women are taught to be ashamed of their femininity, of their emotions, and of their desires. It has been amazing to watch it trend and to see men and women reach out to one another over the internet to call to an end all forms of violence and discrimination against women. There are some misguided comments (ie using it as a platform to argue about reproductive rights/birth control), but overall it is about vision, equality, acceptance, and calling others to action.

This tweet struck me the most:

Too often has a situation like this happened to me, and at the time of writing this, at least 3,000 other women.  Situations like this belittle us, and cause us to inch away from who we are. For me, they feed my wounds and make them deeper, resulting in a lack of confidence in myself and my femininity.

What I love about Once, about other movies and novels with women who fight for what they want, is that they are truly unashamed of who they are. These women are comfortable in their own skin, and they leave the lives of everyone they touch around them better. They are not afraid of being "too sensitive," or too much, or not enough. They bring their very being with a force that causes movement or change from those they encounter.

In our real world, we run from this true, beautiful femininity. Yet over and over again in film, literature, the performing arts, and scripture we see the authenticity the friction a confident, strong, sensitive, and truly feminine woman creates when she collides with other people in her world. In Once, it is incredible music that moves everyone who hears it.

When we tell women they are not enough in their appearance and ability to be desired by men, or that they are too much in what they desire, their emotions, and their dreams, we shrink them down a little each time. And soon we are left with a culture of women afraid to embrace who they truly are because others are afraid of how they will have to change if they are challenged to be a better person.

This is not okay. We cannot continue to live in a world of fear that rejects the beauty and value and dignity of woman.

So thank you Once and every person who tweeted, favorited, or retweeted a #YesAllWomen tweet. This fight for equality, safety, and freedom to be unashamed of who we are has just started, and we need to keep speaking out.

As we keep taking small steps towards a world where women can be unashamed of who they are, we will see more authenticity, beauty, and love flower out around us. I want to live in a world where this is a reality, and I will keep speaking out until we get there.

#YesAllWomen deserve to be valued.

#YesAllWomen deserve to be heard.

#YesAllWomen deserve to be unashamed.

Friday, May 16, 2014

7QTs on NST because the Event is 8 Days Away & I Can't Think Of Anything Else

WHEW this week has been BUSY. And so was last week. We are 8 days away from the leadership heading down to Summer Training, and I'm 15 days away from going there myself. I keep forgetting that an event that I'm planning for July 4 does NOT need to be finalized by the time I leave. So I keep having to tell myself to relax a little.

For some reason, I didn't process how busy and crazy we would be the few weeks leading up to NST. I was really mentally prepared for SLS, but not so much this time. Hence the blog slacking and the fact that all I can think about is summer training. Sorry, friends. Bear with me.

However, I am getting really excited for NST. I think our team has done a great job of planning, and I'm really excited to see our event managers schedule play out. We have two new teammates (!!!!!!) who will be helping out, and our committee heads are the BOMB. So it's going to be a legit summer.

Part of my job has been to plan the weekend events and "random fun" that's been added in throughout the summer. Guys, I can't wait! I'm hoping the staff will really buy into the games and themes to add excitement to their busy, busy days at training. 

Sure, I'm excited to see this event come together, but I'm really excited to see my friends. NST is like a big homecoming for all the missionaries. It's a time to step back, reconnect, and get ready for the coming year. Oh, it is challenging as all get out, but I think I have a better mindset going into the event this yet!

I fell in love with google docs when I was the Director of Special Events for Delta Gamma, but I think my love affair has grown to a strange level now that I'm an event planner. I have over twenty New Staff Training documents and I may or may not have made google docs for my family to plan our upcoming vacation.

I don't know what else to say, so you should check out the newly redone Camp Tecumseh website. It's awesome.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#2 - Swim with Dolphins

I have wanted to do this my ENTIRE LIFE, so I was SO EXCITED when my mom said we could do this when we were in Mexico.

I was THIS EXCITED all day long.
Minus getting ridiculously burnt (we were not allowed to wear sunscreen. dumb), I could have stayed out there all day and watched the dolphins swim around. It was amazing to see the relationship these animals have built with their trainers. The trainers knew the personality of each dolphin. 

The best part was when my mom got in trouble for petting the baby dolphin. 

Just kidding. 

The actual best part was when we got to hold onto the flippers of the dolphins and they swam around on their backs with us hanging on. 

Best day ever. Seriously. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

5 Favorites: Weird things you can buy on [2]

Welcome to May where the Events Team is buys out of their minds and we are 20 days away from NST. So not only is work crazy busy, but I'm spending my evenings hanging out with people before I'm gone for a full month. So instead of a post with substance, I give you to my five favorite weird things you can buy on that I discovered yesterday (meaning, I'm sure there are a lot of other weird purchases you can make).


Who DOESN'T want to be a unicorn? This cat.
This is how looking at weird things on amazon started when amazon tweeted this. WHAT!? Why is this a thing?! I mean, do you need anything else in life?! Buy this amazing product here.

TWO: A monocle. 

Christine learned on on NPR that the cool new thing for hipsters to do was wear monocles. So, obvioulsy we had to investigate to see if it was really a thing. It is. You're welcome. Become the hippest of the hipsters here.

 THREE: This hilarious book about grammar.

THIS BOOK IS THE BEST because it shows why we need to use commas. Amazing. I actually discovered this book at a trendy bookstore in Denver, but you can buy it on amazon. Explain to your friends why the oxford comma matters here.

FOUR: Emergency Googly Eyes.
My roommates may or may not have put googly eyes on random things in our apartment my senior year of college (i.e. microwave, light switch, chair, etc.). And it may or may not have been amazing. Stock up for your next googly eye emergency here.

FIVE: A coffee cup for your squirrel.

Squirrels need caffeine too.

Some of you may know of my love for squirrels. If this fact is a new fact for you, I present to you this picture of me and my DG taxidermy squirrel, Evil Kenevil:

He is not gross or weird. Okay, maybe a little.
 Unfortunately, he was a will, so I had to give him away when I graduated. Saddest day ever. But now someone else is being his loving mama, so it's all good. Buy the mug here so you can enjoy your morning cup of joe with your squirrel.

So there you have it, my friends. What weird things have you found on Amazon?

Friday, May 2, 2014

7QTs on Jim Gaffigan at SEEK & NST

So, this was announced on Tuesday:

People were pretty excited. Heck, our whole team is pretty excited! I think my favorite reaction was this:


We had like 10 people sign up within three hours of the announcement. Which is so great! We're bringing Gaffigan so more people will come. You should probably come, too.

Also, when you search the #SEEK2015 hashtag on twitter, it seems that people who are not in college really want to come to SEEK, and think that they can't.

Good news, people. You do not have to be a college student to come to SEEK. It's for everyone! If you want to know more about the Catholic faith, want to deepen your faith, and are at least a senior in high school, SEEK is for you. Registration is open at, so go check it out. And register now, because there are some legit contests going on.

Jen's book, Something Other Than God (or SOTG), came out on Tuesday! Hooray! You can buy it on amazon & enter in her amazing contests. I need to remember to buy my copy!!

UPDATE one minute after publishing - I just bought my copy! 

Remember how I gave up TV for let? It was a really good life choice...except now I want to watch everything nonstop so I can get caught up. Ugh.

The theme of my week at work has been CARNIVAL!! We're having a welcome carnival to kick off summer training and it is going to be SO FUN. A few of the FOCUS execs have agreed to sit in a dunk tank for a bit. It is going to be legit. The main thing I have learned from this carnival endeavor is that photo booths are expensive. 

Last week 4/5 of my team finished reading Divergent. In the back of the book, there is a quiz that you can take that will place you into your faction. Christine & I made everyone take it at the Fort Myers Airport, even if they didn't read the book. We declared our layover in Indianapolis "Choosing Day." Hilarious. Christine & Christina have now both watched the movie as well, and they engaged in quite the passionate discussion about the differences between the two this morning. Christina just said, "I don't want to work! I want to talk about Divergent! Yes, we are all working adults and we are obsessed with this YA book. #notashamed

I just got my hands on Insurgent and Allegiant, so I'm looking forward to some quality reading time this weekend.

We are 22 days out from week 0 of NST, and I am 28 out from heading down to Ave for a month. The worst part of NST is packing for it. How do you even pack business casual for a whole month!? I know I did this the past two summers, but the task seems so daunting. I think I need to start planning my packing strategy now so I don't go insane.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Remember how I moved in the middle of February? Time to be honest: my room still looks like this: 

I can't believe I'm posting this on the internet. *shudder*

It's awful. I hate it. But I somehow can't seem to find the motivation to clean it. 

So here's where you come in, internet! Hopefully posting my shameful, messy room for all of you to see will help me accomplish my May Goal. 

This month, I don't have habitual goals - I have one goal. My room will be clean by May 29. No questions asked. Oh, and that includes getting the things that are still in my car inside the house and putting them away.

I head down to Florida for four weeks on May 30, and the only thing worse than being in Florida for four weeks would be coming back to this hot mess of a room. 

So, here's to May and finally getting my room cleaned.

Hey, Michelle! If you get your room cleaned sooner rather than later, you can probably go to Ikea and buy those cute organizational things you want for your room. #motivation.