Monday, April 8, 2013

A change of mind....

While I'm back in the swing of things. But this time, I feel like things are flying 100 mph! I only have 3 more weeks until this semester ends and I have plenty to keep me busy with until then. Not only, are classes throwing a lot of work at me but there are a lot of decisions that I am making that need to be finalized before summer break.

Even though all of these unknowns and possibilities before me would have stressed me out and made me very irritable before this year, that is not the case right now. I am blessed to have this contentment with where I am in life that I can only explain as a gift from God. It is natural for me to doubt or worry in the face of decisions so it is refreshing to find this peace about the chaos that is being a freshmen in college.

I am at peace with the unknown. I'm beginning to realize that letting go over the worry or need for control isn't as hard as I once thought it was. Trying to figure out everything little detail about the future is not a productive use of my time. There are certain time of life, and I'm in one right now, where not knowing every detail is actually a blessing not a curse. If I knew everything that I would face in the next 4 to 6 years, I think I would have a mental breakdown.

There are certain things about my future that I beginning to figure out and I would love to share them with all of you :) First of all, I have a better idea of what I want to do for a career. This semester I've decided to start an Alcohol and Drug Counseling Minor. I was hesitant about this decision because I wasn't sure that I wanted to end up working in a group home of youth or where I wanted to be employed one day. But after a few weeks of trying to "reason" myself out of it, I discovered that I have a deep passion for youth coming from difficult backgrounds. The idea of helping teens with addictions or teens whose lives have been deeply impacted by their parents addictions makes me excited to graduate from college and start working!

Also, as I mentioned in my last post, I will living in Brainerd, MN this summer with my Aunt and Uncle. It was hard for me to tell my family and friends in Bemidji that I wouldn't be there this summer but I know this is the best option for me. It's not that I don't love Bemidji or my friends there but I can honestly tell you all that if I were to go back to Bemidji for the summer I wouldn't be content. I would struggle because of the expectations I feel others would have about you I am. I grew up there; you've all seen me through my ups and downs, some I feel still see me as someone I am not anymore.

Instead of adding all these confusing questions of identity, I want to be in a neutral place. A place where I can have the space I need to continue to discover who I am. That and I love my Aunt and Uncle :) Plus, I'm not too far away from home so I can come visit and I hope some of you will come see me!

Another cool thing that has been decided is that next I will be rooming with two of my current roommates, Marhenza and KZ, and a new roommate by the name of Gloria. I will once again be the only "white girl" but I love it! They are beautiful Asian women who teach me a lot and accept me for EXACTLY who I am. We have formed deep and true friendships already and I am so thankful for Marhenza and KZ. I look forward to getting to know Gloria more and I am already thankful that she is a clean person! (I will have back-up to motivate the other two to clean! YAY.)
                                                           KZ, Marhenza, and Me! :)

So there are a few new developments in my life that I'm happy to share with you. I hope that all of you are doing well and I hope that you know that no matter how far away we are, I love and appreciate you! <3

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Break

As Spring Break approached I was ready for a break! I was worn out from classes, studying, and being constantly surrounded by fellow Crown students. (Don't get me wrong, I love it here and I love the people....but even good things need to be appreciated in small doses)

So on Friday, March 22nd I packed up my books, (just because it's called a "break," doesn't mean that homework is not a part of the equation) clothes, camera, and other necessities. Then got into my good pals' car (Cody and Austin) and headed up north. We had a blast on the ride and laughed, danced, and enjoyed every minute we had together. :) They were so kind to drop me off in Bemidji on there way home. I love these guys! There are the best "brothers" I could ever wished to find here at school.

After being dropped off at home, I enjoyed a short conversation with my mom and stepdad and then....I was  off to the Riegerts for some fun times! I stayed at their home for most of break. It was fun to be with them, to help with dinners, and even be the taxi driver for the family one of the days. :) I'm so thankful for their kindness to me.

During the break, I had expected not to be able to see very many people because I didn't bring my car home with me. But I was pleasantly surprised that I got to see MANY of the people I love. Not all of them sadly but I was very blessed with the amount I got to see.

I got to have a dinner date with Gwenn Hovestol :) Which was AMAZING!!! We actually got to sit down and talk about life and encourage each other in the challenges and triumphs we both are experiencing in different ways in our lives. I forgot how wonderful it was to have someone who really knows you to listen to your thoughts and give you feedback and advice.

I also got to attend Efree Church for the first time in almost a year!! I felt so at home and it was nice to see familiar faces that I hadn't seen in a long time. I got to chat with Duane and Joy Tader, Debbie Johnson, and Doug and Lois Ackley.

Doug and Lois so generously offered to take me and the Riegert sisters out for lunch after church. I remember sitting in church seeing them and saying to Hannah and Emily, "I love Doug and Lois!" and then it wasn't even 30 seconds later that Lois walked back to us and asked us if we wanted to go to lunch with them. And then I turned to Hannah and Emily again and said, "See! And that's why I love them! They go out of their way to make us feel special!" :)

So it was off to delicious Giovanni's!! Just like old times (except Julia wasn't there :( LOVE YOU LAMB CHOP!) It was so nice to sit and enjoy a meal with them as each of us college women shared what was going on in our lives. And we even got to hear a little bit about their vacation to Europe to visit Julia and laughed with them as they shared their adventures with us.

I also had the pleasure of enjoying a coffee date with Lauren Lund! This was a special one because we usually don't get one-on-one time, just the two of us. I loved how we each could relate to the changes that life brings to us at this age and how good it felt to just be honest about some of the difficult aspects of growing up. I appreciate our friendship so much and was very thankful that we both had Spring Break at the same time!

One day I decided to go and get some lunch at Hardees and when I walked in I saw Kim Bahr! What a surprise. I sat down with her and her husband Charlie and told them a little bit about life and how college was going. And after lunch, they invited me over for dinner at their house and my good friend Ashley Pauna was going to be coming home from college that night to join us! FUN! We ate one of my favorite meals (Taco Hotdish!) and played games. :)

Oh! I almost forgot. I even got to have one "Mommy-Daughter Day" :D My mom and I went around and ran errands....and even that was fun because we laughed so hard! Then we went thrift shopping and finally finished off our time together with a meal at Applebees (2 for 20 and a triple chocolate meltdown!....YUM)

And that basically covers my week. Now onto my crazy weekend!

On Friday March 29th I went over to my dad's house. My little sister Brandi, most of my nephews, and I all dyed Easter eggs and made some pretty amazing works of art :P Then on Saturday we celebrated Easter with my dad, stepmom, all 8 of my siblings, and all 8 of the grandkids (my nieces and nephews). It was crazy busy and loud but I loved every minute of it. It was fun to see all the kids get excited to find their Easter baskets and play with each other. :)

Manny joined me at my dad's on Saturday and stayed the night. This was the first time I had seen my little brother all break so to say I was excited to spend time with him would be an understatement. My dad, Manny, and I all watched TV together and as it got later my dad got goofier so we all laughed a lot. My dad tells very...hmm..."lame" jokes in most people's opinions but to me they are hilarious. Guess we are similar in that way. :)

In the morning on Easter day, my dad drove me and Manny to our mom's and it was off to Brainerd for her side of the family's Easter dinner.

We got there just in time for dinner. (We weren't late for once!!!) I got to joke around with my aunts and uncles, eat another delicious meal, and simply enjoy seeing family that I rarely get to see. I loved it.

While I was in Brainerd, I applied for a job at the movie theatre. For those of you who don't know, I'll be living in Brainerd with my Aunt Darla and Uncle Curt this summer. I'm excited for a new place and a new experience this summer. I'll be coming back to Bemidji to visit from time to time. Specifically, I know I will be there the first week of June because I have jury duty...... :/ But hey! I'll make the most of the time I have in my hometown.

Anyway, after dinner at my Aunt's house, I caught a ride back to Crown from my Uncle Dave and Aunt Teri. So nice of them! :) I unpacked, unwound, and laughed with some of the girls I missed so much!

I'm happy to say that Spring Break was plenty of time to rest, visit people I love, and to be away from the day-to-day ups and downs of the college life. I am very thankful for all the people in my life and are ready to finish up these last 4 weeks of school!