Thoughts

Happy Five Year Anniversary Tim!

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I’ll never forget this moment. But there are a whole lot of memories over the past year I won’t forget. Our first trip to California together. This Rose Bowl. Our first trip to Disneyland together. Surviving driving through the Polar Vortex. All the movies and TV shows we watched snuggled up on the couch during those snow storms. The dinners and time out on the lake soaking up the sun. Our first ER trip together (hah!). Starting another season in Spartan Stadium. The late night talks and loads of laughs. Another move across the state. Another 154 miles from your house to mine (which is better than the 1,215 miles from East Lansing to Orlando, or the 1,56s from Trufant to Rome). But mostly, just being with you, being lucky enough to have that time.

I love you for so many reasons. I told you in your card that the space was too small for all the witty, romantic things I wanted to say to you, but here I am with all the space in the world and I’m still having a hard time saying exactly why I love you so much. I love that you make me laugh. That you always believe in me. That you don’t make fun of me when I cry (and it’s ugly. Like Kim K ugly, only I don’t know how to contour so my face looks fat and puffy). I love that you’re so smart. I love you for bringing so many wonderful people into my life. But mostly I just love you because you’re you, and you compliment me in a way I don’t believe anyone else could.

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I love you a lottle. To the moon and back. I’m so blessed to have you in my life, and I thank God everyday for it.

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Happy five year anniversary Timmy!

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I’m so happy I get to do life with you!

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Kristina is 21!!

I know, I know, I missed the Tuesday Ten yesterday. With my first week of work last week followed by 12 hours of work Saturday, visitors after that and very little sleep, I took time Monday to relax and gear up for the rest of this week and next, and I’m SO EXCITED to share today’s post!

Guess what y’all!? My baby sister turns the big TWO ONE today! Twenty one years. Holy cow. And now I feel old. (I know, a lot of you just rolled your eyes. I’ll only be 24 in November, but really. Still feeling pretty old.) I’m sitting here writing this and I’ve been writing this post in my head for what seems like days now trying to get out exactly what Kristina means to me and how blessed and happy I am that she’s my sister and I don’t know how it will end up and I’ll probably end up editing this after but here it goes!

Today we’re celebrating this chick


sissy in sydney 1For those of you who don’t know, Kristina spent eight weeks last summer in Australia and New Zealand interning for the Starlight Foundation (which is an amazing organization). She made awesome friends and had an amazing time before she came home, then jetted off to Germany, Holland, and Belgium to play soccer with ONUWS for 10 days. My little world traveler.

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And now she can legally do this in America!

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She really couldn’t be anymore amazing. Actually that’s a lie. I feel like every time I think that she does something else that blows my mind.

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Kristina, the lone senior on the Ohio Northern University Women’s Soccer this year. Four years. Four incredible years of hard work, dedication, endless training, two and three a days, a European trip, countless bus rides and games, trips to the NCAA tournament and more. My sister is AMAZING y’all. And so humble. She’d never tell you any of this herself, so that’s my job. I’ve been Kristina’s cheerleader for as long as I can remember. She started playing soccer when she was five (go Blueberries!) and played for the Quest from U9-U17, mostly with the same core of 9 or 10 girls (I have a lot of official unofficial little sisters out there). She won her first national championship at the age of 10 guest playing with the Michigan Hawks, was invited to tryout for the top teams in the state, helped coach and assist at camps, and was a four year varsity starter in high school. And you know what happened then? She went to college and played for Batman (yes that’s his real name) and in her first year earned numerous honors from the team and the conference, and scored the winning goal in overtime to take the Polar Bears into the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

I can’t even list off all her awards. I will tell you last year she was first team All OAC, academic All OAC and earned All Ohio honors as well. And why am I telling you all this? Well because Kristina is too humble to tell you how kick butt awesome she is and if you can’t be told how awesome you are on your birthday, well what’s the point?

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Having a sister means having a built in best friend, someone who gets you in a way that no one else does. Kristina has been my best friend our whole lives.  She’s intelligent, beautiful, compassionate, funny, athletic, empathetic, understanding, a girl with wanderlust in her soul and someone who appreciates everyone for who they are and what makes them special. She has the biggest heart, radiates goodness, is a believer in God and all the good He does, and is the kind of friend that would drive to your house at three in the morning if you needed her and stay as long as you needed her. I’ll never get tired of hearing how much we look alike.

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I know you don’t really have a lot of memories from times when you were little, but I have a very distinct memory of climbing up into my mom’s hospital bed and helping to hold my little sister and I’ve been watching out for her ever since.

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The laughter you bring to my life and the love you share is amazing. Kristina I am so incredibly proud of the woman you are and how hard you’ve worked to get to this point. You are my hero. You always have been. And you always will be. I strive to be more like you and I’m so blessed to call you my sister.

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Here’s to many more suite years! (Get it, see what I did there ;))

HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY KRISTINA MARIE! I LOVE YOU!

Catching Up

Remember when I said I wouldn’t fall into the “too busy to blog” hole again? Woof. Well here I am, after quite the break. And if you’re not my parents, sister, or boyfriend reading this, bless you.

I’m back, with a plan this time, and I think it’s going to make all the difference. Quick recap, I got pretty sick and it knocked me on my butt for a while, but here I am, and I’m pretty excited about the things I have planned to share with you!

When 2014 started I was in a hotel room in southern California getting pumped for the Rose Bowl the next day (go green!). My two year internship ended in early December and I really had no idea what I wanted to do so I just started jotting down ideas about what would make 2014 my best year yet. Right at the top of my list, number 1, I put EXPERIENCES OVER THINGS, and so far I seem to be doing a pretty good job of that. Summer finally hit Michigan last month and so far it’s been fabulous. I’ve spent time with my family, my best friends, and lots of time on the lake at Tim’s. Here are some of my favorites:

peoniesSeriously, nothing better than peonies

beach volleyballBeach volleyball with some best friends, followed by swimming and grilling? Don’t mind if I do

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Tim and I took in our first Whitecaps game of the year. Frozen drink standard.

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When your boyfriend tells you to get dressed because he’s taking you out to dinner, and where you’re going is a surprise, you throw on a sundress and race to the car. And then you end up at Twisted Rooster, one of the coolest restaurants around. Locally grown food, and Faygo in a glass bottle. It’s the bomb.com.

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I finally got to see The Book of Mormon at Wharton Center with my best friend! Laughed out loud the entire time! It’s not a show for everyone, but we loved it, and so did everyone sitting around us!

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I got to spend some quality time with my entire family at the Detroit Zoo (got that vitamin Z) at a private event my mom’s company hosted. I wanted to see lions, tigers, and polar bears and luckily got all three. Also fell in love with the red panda. This was my “hurry up and take a picture of me with the polar bear before it runs away again!” picture :)

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We tried Grand Rapids Brewing Co. for the first time! Make sure you’re a little bit hungry when you go and order That Pizza Thing. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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This Fourth of July was one for the record books. Tim’s family has a big extravaganza every year and it just keeps getting better and better! One of my best friends, Kaitlyn, came to the lake for the first time. I took her out on the wave runner (my first time driving in over a year) and though it was touch and go at times, we both survived. And by survived I mean got back to land in one piece without being thrown off and ate our weight in delicious snacks and other food for an entire afternoon, with some volleyball, time on the water trampoline,  and relaxing thrown in to mix it up.

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If you read one of my earlier posts (bless you) then I’ve already introduced you to my baby sister Kristina, who happens to be the coolest thing since sliced bread. She brought some friends up for the day and it was so fun hanging out with her! Also, her face when she went tubing for the first time, priceless :)

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If you know Tim, you know the kid loves fireworks, and he’s been stocking up since Memorial Day weekend.The only things I ask for when we go? Floating lanterns and neon sparklers. So sissy, Kaitlyn, Caroline and I all sent a floating lantern up from the beach while listening to “at last I see the light” from Tangled. And all was right with the world.

Like I said- woman with a plan this time- so stay tuned! And if you’re in the Grand Rapids area go eat at Twisted Rooster!

 

New Beginnings

Well hello there. It’s only been, what, three months since my last post? And over a year from the last post to the one before? I fell into that start a blog then get “too busy” to keep up with it hole. And I really have no excuse for it, especially not these past few months. So here I am, starting again :) With so much inspiration all around me I wanted a place for me to share and enjoy it, focusing on what really makes me happy! So here goes nothing!

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Lessons Learned: Spark and Hustle

I had the opportunity to attend Tory Johnson’s (of Good Morning America) Spark and Hustle conference last Thursday. My boss at A Moment In Time, Jen House, was one of the three featured speakers for the day. I learned a whole lot at the conference, but one of the parts of the conference that really stuck with me was a short video featuring SurePayroll CEO Michael Alter. He talked about how to grow your small business, but really, these lessons apply to anyone!

1. Mistakes are the fastest way to learn and grow

2. Use being small to your advantage, you can adapt faster– this was more focused on a small business, but think about it, you are responsible for you and creating your opportunities, and it should be relatively easy for you to stay flexible and adapt

3. It’s okay to say no, even if it’s tough. Not everything is a good fit. (more…)

Five Lessons to Make You Think About the Way We Treat People

Well, it’s been a while. Silly me, I thought once summer came I’d have even more time to blog, but things just seem to keep coming up (Pinterest crafts, lake time and being dazzled at weddings every weekend). But while I was cleaning my room today I came across an e-mail from a long time ago that I had printed and put on my bulletin board. It’s titled “Five Lessons to Make You Think About the Way We Treat People.” Each story is touching so I thought I would share these short stories with you. I hope you take something away from them :) (more…)

The Opposite of Loneliness

I found the link to this article on Facebook tonight. It struck me how unfair life can be, someone with this much to offer leaving this world much too early, but I was also inspired, and I know after you read it I know you will be too.

What Marina Keegan writes about feeling at Yale, is exactly how I feel about Michigan State. While reading I pictured my dorm, work, apartment, the bars, friends I’ve made along the way and all the experiences I’ve had. Spartan Nation is unlike anything else. I thank God everyday for the blessings I have in my life; my family, friends, education, a place to call home. No one should ever take those memories and blessings for granted.

These are her words:

“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.

It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats. (more…)