Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Tailer's the best.  We've been friends since my junior year of high school and she's always been such a blessing in my life.  She's sweet and funny and loves to sing and play basketball.

When I signed up to help out some of the students with special needs, I was looking for an easy class.  But I found Tailer.  I'm so so so glad.  My junior and senior year hanging out with her was the brightest part of my day. We sang and made things out of clay.  Who wouldn't love that?

It's funny, Tailer is one of the few people who I have kept up with after high school.  Her friendship made me realize how much I love befriending people with special needs.  She's a little different, but she has an irreplaceable role in my life.

When I was having a rough time and didn't feel like I had a place where I belonged, I could always count on Tailer to be happy to see me and make me feel loved.  Love her for that.

One of my favorite things about Tailer is her favorite song.  She can sing "you are my sunshine" a million and one times and never get tired of it.  So much so that some people call her Sunshine.  I love that just by walking around and asking people to sing with her, she brings positivity, love, and sunshine.

I'm so glad we're friends.

Friday, May 17, 2013

best camp counselor ever

I have my dream job this summer.  Ever since I was fourteen, I've wanted to be on staff at the camp I grew up at and I finally have the job!  And I'll be on staff with some of my best friends.  It's going to be a great summer.

I'm so excited and so blessed to be able to love on kids all summer and teach them about Jesus.  I know some of my old counselors have changed my life.

But since I've gone to camp for so many years, as a counselor in training and a camper, I know that it's hard work.  Sometimes it's hot, there's cleaning to do, I won't get along with everyone, it's exhausting, and plans don't always work out.  But I want to do my best to act like Jesus in those situations anyways.

So here's my list of my goals for how I want to counsel this summer.

  • Be positive and encouraging. Camp is rough sometimes.  We all need encouragement. 
  • Be intentional about spending free time with campers. Even though I love the counselors, I want to remember that I'm there to love on the campers and build relationships with them first.
  • Don't complain.  Complaining doesn't help anyone.  The situation's not going to change- the only thing I can do is change my attitude.
  • Be patient with everyone and give grace.  Sometimes conflict can ruin a really great day if you let it.  But I don't want to.  I only get five days with each camp so I don't want to get hung up on the small stuff. 
  • Take time for myself (even five minutes) to refocus and get strength from the Lord.  This is hard sometimes because things are so busy, but it's so important. 
  • Participate.  Even if I don't feel like it, I'm sure I'll be glad I did.  This is more just my personality.  I'm not a games person, so a lot of times I just like to watch.  But I don't want to miss out on anything!
  • Be praying and be open to opportunities to hear kids' hearts.  Listen.  Sometimes this is the best way to love kids.  Just be with them and listen to them.  
If you think about it, I'd love your prayers for all of the campers and counselors coming in June and July.  I'm hoping to be able to continue to blog on the weekends while I'm there, so you can keep up on my camp adventures, but no promises. 

It's going to be really hard sometimes, but so rewarding.  I'm really excited to see what God has in store!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I've been learning about photography lately so I asked my sweet sister, Olivia, to model for me.  She was such a good sport about letting me take a million pictures of her.  It was fun to get to spend this time together and even get a few good sister shots!  Love this girl.  She's a natural beauty.

my outfit
blouse// tj maxx
jeans// kohl's

olivia's outfit
tank top// thrifted
leggings// victoria's secret
sandals// old navy

Thursday, May 9, 2013

see ya later, college

I'm moving out today! It's nice to be done with classes, but I will really really really miss all of these people.

Thank you, college, for these wonderful people you've brought me.  Life would not be the same without them.  My heart is so full of love for them sometimes and I feel like I should be able to write a pretty awesome post about it, but I can't.

Just trust me when I say that these people are what has made this year as challenging, encouraging, exciting, and awesome as it has been.  I may or may not have cried leaving them.  Okay, you got me, I cried.  I just love them, okay?

Here's hoping that next year brings more incredible people and memories.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Every week, there's a Bible study for adults who have developmental disabilities.  It's a great time.  We color and sing and talk about Jesus.

Since I've gone this semester, I've gotten to know Ronnie pretty well.  He's great.  I see God working through him.

Like in this note.  (In case you can't read it, it says I love you.  God love you. Lovely Woman.  April 29, 2013. Happy Day.)  He writes this same exact thing every couple of weeks, usually he gives it to another resident in the home he lives in, but today he gave it to me.  Granted, he gave one to someone else right after, but still, it touches my heart.

Every week we pray over whatever needs people have and Ronnie always asks for prayer.  Never for him though.  He always asks us to pray for the people inside and the people outside.  And the world.  Literally everyone.  I love his concern for the whole world.

We also sing Glory to God every Bible study.  Ronnie doesn't really sing the other songs, but this one is his favorite.  He only sings the chorus though.  Actually, he only sings "glory to God."  Over and over. And loudly.  And out of tune.  He pretty much yells over everyone.  But shouldn't that be how we all are?  The world would be a better place if we were all that preoccupied with giving God glory.

This is one of my favorite things about working with people who have disabilities.  It reminds me that we're all just people looking for friendship.  We are created to reflect the Creator.

I'm thankful for Ronnie's encouragement and friendship.
As he would say, Happy day, everyone!

Monday, May 6, 2013

if you decide to run a half marathon

If you decide to run a half marathon, or any long race for that matter, there are so many little things that you can do to make or break your race.  These are the tips that I knew, or wish I knew, before I started running.

  • Follow a training program.  I did this last year and was so thankful because my body was used to it, but I kind of slacked this year and it was not a good idea.  
  • Wear capris or pants- shorts are not a good idea.  
  • Eat breakfast before you leave.  Just a little something will do.  
  • Drink water every time it's offered to you, but only a sip or two.  Throw the cup and the rest of it on the ground.  (The only time that littering is encouraged!)
  • Take something sugary to eat when it gets rough.  I ate little jelly bean things called sports beans. The sugar gives you a burst of energy, plus they just taste good. 
  • Make friends!  Everyone there is going through the same feelings you are- excited, exhausted, determined, proud- take advantage of this and encourage each other.
Also, I decided to include an embarrassing camera picture from the hardest part of the race- the Indy 500 Track.  It's the long and boring part.  People, this is the look of determination.  

Happy racing!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

too much running

My roomie and I decided to run the Indy 500 Mini Marathon together this year!  I ran it last year, so I kind of knew what to expect, but she was a first-timer.  We split up after the first little bit- she finished fifteen minutes before me.  I'm so proud of us.

Probably one of my favorite parts of the race was when I met Jennifer.  I looked over and we smiled at each other, so I gave her a high five.  After that, we realized we ran at about the same pace, so we stuck together.  It was so nice to have someone there pushing me along when I wanted to stop and walk the rest of the way.  She was a blessing.

I'm exhausted now, but I'm so glad I got to do this.  There was 35,000 people there! So crazy.  We ran around the Indy 500 track and around Indianapolis.  To make it more exciting, there were random people cheering us along on the sidelines and different groups and bands performing so that we could watch as we ran past.  And to make it even better, I had some of my friends texting me along the way (thanks, guys!) to encourage me as I ran.  I almost cried about five times thinking about all of the people that worked so hard to get here and how many people were there supporting us.

And I'm so glad I got to experience all of this with Carey.  She's the best roommate.  Love love love her.

P.S. Ignore all of my crazy faces. I was exhausted and high on endorphins and excited to see someone I knew.

Have you ever run a long race?  What did you think?