Sunday, October 16, 2011

Everything Happens For A Reason

I can't believe it's been 5 months since I last posted...yikes!  SO much has happened since then.  After a phenomenal summer teaching 8th and 9th grade Math for the Challenge Foundation, I jumped right into preseason and readied myself for the start of school.  For the past few months I've been teaching 4th and 7th grade at my alma mater.  Then, last week, Challenge Foundation offered me a full time position.  The opportunity to work for such an incredible foundation is a dream come true...I start tomorrow, and I know that this is exactly where I need to be.  I am so blessed.  I can't even begin to explain how excited I am.

These last few days and the next several to come are going to be exciting and stressful, but I'm so thankful to have such wonderful friends and family to support me.  I don't know what I'd do without them. Now, all I wish for myself is that I can be there for my dad and stepmom during this difficult time.  I feel so helpless and it seems like there is nothing I can do.  I wish I could make it better, but I can't.  It just don't know...

Monday, May 2, 2011

for me, it isn't over

I've come to understand over the past few months that no matter how much we try, most things will never be completely over and forgotten.  Certainly circumstances change, but the major experiences and people who played significant roles in your life will always be a part of who you are, no matter where you are, where they are, or what you are doing.  The impact will not and should not be forgotten.  For awhile I have been trying to think of an example that most "readers" [if I actually had any] would find relatable.  Last night it came...Osama Bin Laden was killed.  For Americans, 9/11 will always be remembered.  The feelings and emotions felt on that day linger in our hearts and minds.  While justice has prevailed, there is no doubt that 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden will be a part of us, as Americans, forever.  Like this, there are so many things we wish we could take back; we wish certain events hadn't happened, or had happened; instances in which we wished we had acted differently; made more of an effort, made less of an effort; said more, done more; said less, done less; but where does all of that wishing and regret get us?  Nowhere.  But then, why are we where we are now?  Because this is where we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be doing, and that's just the way life is.



Throughout the last semester I've been jotting down ideas, goals, notes, random thoughts, advice given, advice received, lessons learned, reflections--you name it, I've probably written about it.  One thing that most of these thoughts and tid-bits come back to is happiness.  DO what makes you happy.  BE with the ones who make you happy.  Don't SETTLE for less than you deserve.  REALIZE that you are happy.  Happiness is not always found in achieving, winning...happiness is found in the journey.  If you can't find happiness in the journey, you haven't reached your final destination yet.  It's important to enjoy the process; it won't always be fun.  Putting yourself out there, laying it all on the line, taking a leap of faith--that is what makes life what it is.  It can be bitter.  It can be sweet.  It can be bittersweet, but in the end, when everything works out, be satisfied that it was all meant to be.  Remember, sometimes your situation doesn't need to change, you just need to change how you perceive it.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day Treat

For everyone's favorite holiday, my lovely valentine, Hannah Campbell, and I decided to invent a new beverage...we call it "The Tuaca Bomb."

Start by filling a shot with Tuaca (it's a Colorado thing)...


Fill a short with Diet Dr. Pepper, drop in the Tuaca...


...enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day Adventures

Ice Storm 2011 blessed us with a few days off of school.  Fortunately, my roommate, friends and myself decided to take full advantage of the city practically shutting down.  I won't go into full details of what the main night of debauchery entailed, but the pictures tend to speak for themselves...

Wandering the streets of Saint Louis...


Rosalita's...


And then the Casino happened...

(Yes...this was taken in the bathroom...awkward)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cheese-ology

My roommate's favorite food is Macaroni and Cheese, so upon my discovery of "Cheese-ology" located in the loop, we had to give it a try.  With a variety of unique mac-n-cheese pairings, it was a little overwhelming to choose, but I finally decided on the Sante Fe...


Natalie chose the Classic...


Her sister chose Chicken Scampi...


And their friend from home chose the Philly Cheese...


Of those four, the general consensus was that the Chicken Scampi was the most delicious.  Overall, our experience at Cheese-ology was fabulous, and we will certainly be returning soon!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

making KINECTions

New Years Day was spent recovering from the night before.  The evening was filled with delicious Lebanese food and great company.  If you've never tried Lebanese food, I would definitely recommend it.  It was delicious...I even tried raw meat!  Yikes!  After the feast (literally SO much food), we all watched the NHL Winter Classic (Washington Capitals versus Pittsburgh Penguins).  I was cheering for the Capitals; after watching 24/7: Penguins/Capitals Road to the NHL Winter Classic, I really identified with the Capitals.  The show chronicles the lives of the players, including practices, travel, et cetera.  What I found to be most striking was the half time speech of the Capital's head coach.  The team had fallen into a rut, losing multiple games.  As I listened to their coach's speech consisting of profanities and lacking effective encouragement, I felt as though I was back on the field hockey field in Fenton, MO...HENCE it was a no-brainer to cheer for the Capitals.  While the majority of the game was somewhat uneventful, the Capitals ended up defeating the Penguins. VICTORY!  After the game, we all played Kinect on Xbox360.  It was a lot of fun and a pretty good workout!  I even managed to capture my friend Beth's awesome volleyball skills...the quality is EXTREMELY poor, but this video was too funny not to include.

video

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolution

It is in looking back on all that happened in 2010 while anxiously awaiting things to come in 2011 that I realize how wonderful life is.  One thing is for certain, everything happens for a reason.  Often times it's easy to get caught up in the moment and be completely focused on it, but in the end somehow, no matter how messed up or simply beautiful the experiences were, it all makes sense.  A friend that will forever remain in my heart once told me, positive equals positive.  By thinking positive things and making positive choices, positive things will happen.  This past year has been full of ups and downs, and it was no easy task to find the positive in every situation, but by moving on and accepting what has been, I find I can fully appreciate the present.  Of course, it's important not to worry too much about what the future holds but that doesn't mean that there is no need to set goals, appreciate successes, grow and learn from failure, and to think about the limitless possibilities.  No one and nothing should limit you, your dreams, or your desires.  In the end though, it's important to keep in mind that what lies ahead might not always be easy, but trust that it will be worth it in the end.

One word encompasses my resolution for the new year.  Trust.  This coming year I hope to learn to trust myself more, trust others more, trust in God, trust that everything happens for a reason, and trust that all things work out in the end.  I challenge myself, in 2011 and beyond, to be more courageous and fight for what I want and believe in.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear." -Ambrose Redmoon