There are officially 34 days until Christmas. Which means we have 34 days to get presents for our loved ones and those we feel obligated to gift. If you are in a rut, just use these ideas to get those Christmas juices flowing!


turn christmas candy into holiday love messages

Christmas Caramel Bark

For the nerd in your life

Minimalist Fashion Photo Collage

Blair's Tutorials

stocking stuffers


UPDATE: Where Have I Been?

Wow. It has been a hot minute. Not only have I neglected writing about my first months as a freshman at the University of Minnesota, but I failed to capture the moments of my final summer as a “kid.” In my defense, things just got a little hectic. Obviously I had to focus on the transition from being cradled to walking on my own (a metaphor for gaining independence), but I wish I could have caught my feelings in real time.

Anyways, after a summer that consisted of nannying three crazy boys and saying goodbyes, I am now two months into this crazy thing called college. There are no more nights spent in bed crying, but I still feel as if this is a dream. It’s kooky to think I am only a few years away from the real world. As of two months in, I am an Alpha Phi *cue handkerchief wave* (it’s an Alpha Phi thing, don’t worry if you don’t understand), and loving it. I have also joined an online publication called Her Campus, where I finally have the opportunity to write for an group that mirrors Cosmopolitan. School is a focus, but a challenge. Homework is usually dreaded, while the dinning hall food is always. The parties are wild to say the least, and sometimes the vulgar frat houses make me want to fast forward my life to babies and a stable job. I am loving the Hubbard School of Journalism- even though I am technically not in yet. The content is pure genius, full of personal anecdotes and comedy. And, my lib ed requirements are tough (BIOL 1010 specifically), I cannot wait to complete all of these. This is the start of something new, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Is freshman year what I expected? Yes and no. In short, no. I never knew it was going to be so hard to fly the coop, even if I am only thirty minutes away. I also never realized that making new friends is hard and that it takes effort from both parties. As to why it is what I expected: it is challenging and full of lessons. College is nothing glamorous, it is tough and rowdy. But it is something that I am loving and recognizing as educational.

From here on out I hope to post more, this is a tool to future success. Here’s to the steps taken to create a life of happiness. Cheers, with a red solo cup, from me to you.

How to Throw The Perfect Grad Party

Celebrating your high school graduation is important for so many reasons. It is a time to receive deserved recognition, to catch up with the family members you only see twice a year, and to wrap up the entire experience. I urge all of you anxious soon to be college freshman not to accept your parents exotic trip offers, and instead plan a party to remember. Here I will teach you how.

  1. Pick a food that has importance. This isn’t as silly as it sounds. Think back to your past 18 years and find all of the moments that a food has done more than just stop the stomach’s rumbles. Was a certain restaurant your go to? Did you always crave a specific something when you were sad? For me, it was brats and burgers. An American staple, and a classic my family and I has shared for years. I knew it was delicious, more than just a piece of meat, and loved by most.
  2.  IncorpoIMG_0245.jpgrate your future college. I will be a future gopher, and I am proud of that. In order to showcase my excitement, I devoted an entire high top round table to The University of Minnesota. I recommend framing your acceptance letter, filling a glass jar with your school’s colored M & Ms, and adding a chalkboard with a description of the school or your future dreams.
  3. Pictures, pictures, pictures. You will never have enough pictures, and I cannot stress this enough. Your guests will never tire looking at all of the colorful frozen moments depicting your past years. I turned to a website called Stumps Party to purchase life size cardboard letter collages. ( Link to Giant Letters ) They were a hit and a creative way to showcase my photos. IMG_7474.jpg
  4. Candy Bar. A candy bar is a beautiful way to give your party some individuality and to give your guests a goodie bag. I created a candy bar background, I used cute glass jars, and I had plastic scoops to maintain cleanliness. To make things even cuter, I used Chinese take out containers for the “take home” feel.

-Here is how to make the background for the candy bar. You will need 1) a tri-fold poster board 2) tissue paper (cut into 4 x 4 squares) 3) glue.




  1. Tissue paper flowers or lanterns hanging from the ceiling as well as lights. This spices up any old boring garage or backyard. It is “whimsical,” as my family liked to call it, and the guests gave my family many many compliments.
  2.  When creating a display table with accomplishments, plaques, trophies and other things, make sure to spread things out. No one wants a cluttered table when they are trying to look at first grade dance pictures and attempting to decipher childhood drawings.
  3. Make an area for guests to write the graduate words of wisdom. Looking back this is one of my favorite parts of my party. I cannot guarantee a lot of people will contribute to your collection of wisdom, but these notes and tidbits of information are exciting to read later on.



I am so thankful to be lucky enough to have had an amazing grad party. I will cherish these memories, the time spent planing with my mom, and the people who attended forever. I will say one thing, now that it is over I wish I wouldn’t have stressed as much as I did. My advice to you, soak in these moments and spend time with family. I deeply hope you create a grad party that you love. GOOD LUCK!

Spring Break from Hell? Or a Story of Success?

What: Senior Spring Break
Where: The Barceló, Riviera Maya
When: 3/11/17-3/18/17

I don’t even know where to begin. This trip was one to remember, vastly different from my weeks off of school in the past. On the day of departure my tummy was full of nerves, squishing every which way. I usually freak out in the line for security, but this time I wasn’t scared of being patted down and deemed as a criminal, I was worried about fifty kids from my High School trapped in one large Mexican resort. At the gate I was “welcomed” by kids from my class, and one female in particular who I wasn’t thrilled to see. The plane ride was extremely hot and I shed clothes faster than ever before, four hours slowly ticked by and the anticipation still lingered underneath excitement. After customs and the baggage claim wait we hopped on a bus with some fellow Minnesotans and cheersed our, rather disgusting, Coronas together. The ride from the airport to the hotel was unnecessarily long, full of whines from immature passengers and whistles from a group of soccer boys. Once we arrived jaws dropped as our glassy eyes took in entirety of the Palace hotel. Curtains blew in the wind and the view appealed to every one of my senses. The salty air was crisp, the mosaic dragon on the front desk wall spoke to me, the ocean waves calmed every anxious bone in my body, and the grand staircase sent Princess thoughts running through my mind. I felt at home, until we headed to the prestige premium office. You would think the staff would be all over these members, succumbing to their every need. Wrong, that was not the case. My family and I waited for quite some time before an inexperienced individual came to give us the 411. He failed to inform us of benefits and he explained everything from the comfort of a small wooden desk home to a guest computer, off to the side, cramped near an office door. Nothing us Zentner’s can’t handle, but my un-sober self turned to tears and let out an impatient, emotional roar. I wanted my friends, I wanted to see what spring break life was all about. We finally made it to the room- quite nice might I add- without any bags and I was in a funk, trying my very best to make plans using the sluggish Verizon service. Ben, a very important member of my spring break, agreed to meet my family and I at the beach in order to, so gentlemanly, walk me to the party and watch over me. As soon as I arrived to the Theater Bar I was bombarded with hugs and screams of joy that MEGAN HAS ARRIVED FINALLY OMG YES MEG’S HERE! Tequila shots were passed my way and I was in pure heaven, taking in the love from my peers whom I thought hated me, sad I know. Those who had been in Mexico for a few days led me to the plaza and the club and all of the cool spots. We walked the beach, laughed at things we probably shouldn’t have laughed at, and craved baguettes. The night was coming to a close, that is until Ben and I received a text from my dad asking if we wanted food. Stupid question dad, of course we wanted food, we’re teenagers. We picked him up and ventured out into the latin land with a mission for food and fun. We stopped at the lounge and snacked on pizza and hotdogs, then made our way to Strikers (the 24/7 bar). Canadians and Northern Minnesotans who had a little to much to drink occupied our conversations, engaging with Ben and my dad in a little late night drinking sesh. Three o’clock rolled around and texts from moms were popping up frequently. Leaving Strikers we had a little run in with the cops, questioning the underage drinker and ensuring that dad was really dad. The next day, after a less than healthy amount of sleep, I woke up ready for what Mexico had to offer. I annoyed my parents with teenager squeals stating that everyone loved me. I set out to work on my tan and doused my body in tanning oil SPF 15. Hungry after a night out, I attempted to make my way to one of the dozens of buffets found on the resort’s property.  I kid you not my directionally challenged self spent hours walking around. Phone directions from a twelve year old smarter than me didn’t even help. I finally found a hungover Ben and sat in his hotel room until he had to go fight sea sickness on a Booze Cruise. I spent the day basking in the sun with friends, frolicking in the water with girls who reminded me I need to get out more, laughing at the stupidity of certain boys. I was happy. Dinner was full of tears from my emotional self, and private thoughts streamed from my mouth. Two hours at a seafood restaurant and you can share a  lot more than annticipated. I  chowed on coconut shrimp, taking deep breathes. The night ended with some much needed sleep and a bright and early wake up call from the sun. I spent the next day in a less than appropriate swimsuit on the volleyball courts, well the sidelines. Everything seemed perfect, that is until I came face to face with a ball. Literally smacked in the nose by one of my worst enemies, and I wasn’t even playing. I brushed it off and ran to the the shore to help burry a friend in the sand. Italian was for dinner and I ate way to much gnocchi and spaghetti carbonara- heaven compared to the cardboard chicken nuggets and array of seafood (with heads attached). I somehow ended up on the roof of the 18+ club and I was dazzled by the view. Stars above with the ocean in the distance, nothing but good company and happiness. After everything: intense socialization, drinking, and some PL drama I needed some me time. I spent the afternoon tanning and taking group pictures, casually sauntering away from the rest of the spring breakers. I saw a dolphin show that failed to rival places like Sea World, and I finally found myself sipping cocktails with my family, something a little more comfortable to me. Now here comes the climax of my story, the tale of all tales. This night I decided to break away from my family and I attended an all boy group dinner at the hibachi restaurant. A) I am allergic to hibachi, and communicating ingredients with native Spanish speakers is not my strong suit. B) It’s not like I can’t have a conversation with boys, but a table with 17 of them is kind of intimidating. I had a plan. I wasn’t going to eat and I was going to be a bro, one of the guys if you will. If I were to be graded on the execution of that proposal I would have received an F. I ended up eating something that may of may not have contained soy, and I grew wide eyed and red faced as the boys chanted inappropriate things. FAIL. I failed. I took a Benadryl shot after spotting hives and headed to the room party which quickly made its way to Strikers. A few drinks in, after lots of selfies were captured and new friends made, everyone started to get a little hungry. We grabbed plates of chocolate cake and chips, queso, and guacamole. All normal foods, I thought I was fine. After countless face fulls of these items my lips and chin started to swell. I didn’t think anything was wrong at first, and then I could feel less and less air. It was almost as if a panic mode button was pushed and Ben piggy backed me home through the sand. A dramatic Maddie dragged behind stressing about my life. I reached hotel room 8044 and drunkenly woke my parents up, “whispering” that I needed Benadryl. We downed two tablespoons of a pink evil liquid and nothing got better. I was sitting 1/2 naked begging for a shot, that is how you know I was really in danger. My parents, in awe of what was happening, spent (in my opinion) to much time reading the directions on the EpiPen. My dad sauntered over calm and collected, in a sleepy state might I add, and stabbed the needle into my leg. 10/10 execution if I do say so myself. The medicine quickly worked its magic, but the drowsiness soon set in. I immediately rushed to bed and my mom spent the night checking my breathing, with a hand on my back or wrist at all times. In the morning I awoke to a worried mother, full of googled knowledge on allergic reactions. My fingers were numb, a side effect of the epinephrine, and we decided to head to the hotel’s clinic. The predominately Spanish speaking doctor rushed through a consultation, but prescribed me with steroids. The following hours were consumed with sleepiness and me telling the story countless times to countless people. My fellow travelers were shocked and the adults were full of worry. I was kind of in a daze the entire day, beaten down from the medication and the sun. To top things off, I stepped on a bee. Stinger in foot and all, I limped to my parents who where thankful flying yellow and black insects were not one of my allergens. The night was low key, lots of people were leaving the next day, so I was preparing to say my temporary goodbyes from paradise. Strikers was the place to be and the beach was the final destination of the night. The waves soothed the soul and people I have come to cherish and love took in the beauty of this gem of the world with me. The following day my family and I explored the streets of Playa del Carmen. The raunchy vendors offered drugs and overpriced goods, plus inappropriate comments  were thrown around like candy. We ate at Señor Frogs, avoiding the party crowd by eating around one. The cab drive was bumpy, but I loved taking in the real city. Not just the five star room service carts, towel boys, and complimentary booze. I ended the day with a nice nap in the sun and buffet dinner. Our final day was reserved for me to burn, and that I did. My skin took in every ray possible and baked in the warmth. My freckles popped and my body glistened with sweat. I do, hypocritically, recommend an SPF higher than 15. An Italian dinner, laughs, and reminiscing summed up the end of the trip. Saturday was the travel day, also known as the dreaded day. I have to say I was ready for a twin size bed, coated in flannel sheets, to myself. The hour bus ride was a burden and the hotel goodbyes were hard and the memories urged to be relived. Overall my trip was amazing. I met some wonderful people whom I will cherish forever. I did things that I didn’t know I was capale of doing, and I stepped out of my comfort zone. I am extremely thankful for this trip and the people who where with me every step of the way. Mom and dad- thank you for saving my life, I am already looking forward to laughing about this trip and my younger years when I am married and content. Benjamin- thank you for also aiding in the fight to save my life, and never leaving my side this trip, together we are better. Mexico you will be missed, but life goes on. Prom dresses and graduation caps will fill my future. College decisions have been made, butterflies are fluttering, and roommates are being found. I am excited for all that is to come and grateful for all that has passed. I will never forget this week in paradise.


What do you do when your wanderlust bones start to jiggle? Do you kill your bank account and plan a trip around the world? Do you hop on Pinterest and day dream of all the places you could be? Or do you let it go, accepting that where your feet are planted is fine for now?

I am in serious need of a warm weather hug, the ocean air embracing my sweaty limbs. Tropical breezes erasing any iffy realities. The things here are dull, they aren’t enough. Salty hair and palm tree lined coasts, that’s what I want, that’s what I crave. Fresh fruit in a coconut and sunset dinners. My swimsuit strings are tugging, ready to snuggly cover and protect minimal body parts. The Mayan ruins are begging to be rediscovered by my hands. And white sand beaches challenge the crisp color of the Minnesota snow falls. The places far away from here seem to be calling my name. Waking up with an agenda of nothing but relaxation. Floating in the ocean after a nap in the sun, letting the water refresh burning areas. I miss the sunsets of Hawaii, and the smell of the Dominican Republic. The bumpy roads of Honduras even seem weirdly more appealing than the streets to the High School. So much has happened in so little time that a break from my seventeen year old life (stressful I know) is needed. Take me to the foreign time zones and the volleyball courts. Fill my hands with a cup and some tanning oil. Tell me the origin of the country and what famous traveler sunk his ship 20 miles from the beach. Everything about the idea of leaving tastes oh so sweet. The passenger seat on the airplane, as uncomfortable as it really is, will feel snug and satisfying. I yearn to stare out of the window at the tiny houses and the baseball fields the size of my thumb. Nights on vacay soothe the soul, the dark skies plush with stars and dreams. Rejuvenation is the goal, spending time with the people whom are most important. These are the best weeks of spring and a top ten moment each and every year. It’s about flouncy dresses, flushed cheeks, and serious day drinking. The days seems longer and the possibilities for fun are endless. All you really need is a towel, some music, good company, and a breathtaking view. I guess you could say I’m vacation deprived, itching for a bronze glow, an endless buffet, and final family memories before the real world slaps me in the face. Two weeks and I’ll be running into the ocean with friends Safe Haven style. I’ll be tracing my name in the chunky sand and stumbling around to the Mexican beats from the maracas (la música de México es muy bien y bonita). Take me to the beach as soon as possible- is it sad I just realized what ASAP means? The islands are calling, ready to help me fall in love with life.

Quick Write #3

It was a rainy day. One that smelt like coffee beans and foot lotion. The air was crisp and the cobblestone streets soaked with a wet gleam. Yellow rain boots stomped to dry land as fast as possible, and umbrellas fluttered in the wind. The dark sky pulled broken hearts farther apart and reminded people of the things they wanted to forget. James, a noble business man on a weekend getaway from his crazy job, wandered the alleys of Maine in search of something more than a buttered lobster tail. This small town, smack dab in the middle of nowhere, was home to the love of his life. She was the epitome of beauty and rivaled the tenderness of waves lapping over white sand beaches in far away places. James left her here in search of something better. Little did he know the best thing that could possibly cross his path never moved from her life of comfort. Her name was Jane. James and Jane, alliteration at it’s finest. Their time with one another years ago was filled with sunset chases, adrenaline adventures, and chocolate chip cookie stomach aches. They had it all figured out, together they were better. But, when a prestigious job offer rolled around, James sprinted away from the love of his life. They said their goodbyes, but she never truly got over him. Instead, she took her despair and worked hard for a degree in psychology. Time eventually mended her wounds and her genius tactics of helping people brought in countless customers to her office overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Her place of work occupied an old white house, with navy blue shutters and a frail chocolate-brown roof. The attic was were Jane resided after a hard day of listening to people. She didn’t live there, but she certainly spent many hours watching the water crash and twist. Jane could recall several moments when her time in the attic lead to thoughts about James. He never left her mind after all of their years apart. She Facebook stalked him and his mom, vicariously living through social media posts, and she often sifted through old letters from him. Her view was full of boats floating away, and Jane always did her best to plop the memories of him onto the vessels and watch them sail off. But on one rainy day in particular, the boat of memories navigated its way back to her. James was well aware of her location and made it his mission to silently watch the building from a far for a few days. He sat hidden on a bench behind a full tree. James observed those who walked into the practice and judgmentally hated the attractive males whom he assumed needed no help, but rather some company from a pretty brown-haired woman. Since the last time the couple saw each other they both had changed substantially. Jame’s sparse facial hair bloomed into a hairy masterpiece, and Jane’s figure progressed to a more mature state. They looked like adults, but they still each were missing one thing: a partner. Days went by, work calls were ignored, and James was extremely hesitant to advance into her little white house. On a Tuesday night he gave up all hope and walked with his head down back to his inn. He packed his bag and sat it on the scratchy comforter, it was ready to be hauled off to the airport. James wanted to say goodbye to his hometown once more, so he made his way down to the dock he went to as a boy. It was off of the main roads and he called it his little secret. The view was unbelievable. Due to the town’s distance from urban life, the stars shinned so brightly creating diamond like spots on the water’s surface. Year ago James only came alone or with Jane. Here they had their first kiss, talked about babies with bald spots, and carved their names into a nearby tree trunk. They lived at this dock when days were stressful, or when they needed nature to revive them. James walked cautiously down the winding path towards the water and found their carved names. He rubbed his fingers over the flaking bark and it somehow felt like he was touching the hands of Jane. After making it to the world’s most beautifully worn out dock, he sat down in his normal spot and listened to the nothingness. It was almost relieving to be out of the hustle and bustle of the city, even if his goal of coming to Maine was not achieved. He laid flat on his back and looked up at the sky. The full moon cast a white glow onto the left side of his face, illuminating the tiny  freckles that spotted everywhere. He reminisced, dreamt, and was ultimately proud of himself for making his way back home. Suddenly, James could hear footsteps. He bolted upright and turned around, he was confused as to how anyone could possibly know of this place. It was Jane. Her brown hair tousled in the wind, and the light from the moon highlighted her cheekbones. She was just as beautiful as the day he first saw her. Her high heels clicked on the wood platforms as she casually came to a halt next to James. His heart stopped, how could she have known I was here, he wondered? “I’ve seen you outside of my building James, the trees aren’t as thick as you thought” she said as she laughed. There was no hesitation or fear in her voice, she was ready to see the man who broke her heart. James stuttered and finally made out the words I am sorry. “No need to apologize,” said Jane with a smile, “it felt so normal to see you outside, like the times you would wait for me after school outside of Norman Hall.” His mouth turned up at the thought of this, “I remember that, things were so different back then” he said. “I know, a lot has changed,” Jane responded. They stared at the black and blue liquid movement before them, mesmerized by the delicacy of the water. “I thought I would find you here” she proclaimed, “I still come here myself when life gets to heavy to handle.” James shook with pain at the thought of Jane struggling with the challenges that one shouldn’t face alone. “I never stopped loving you Jane. I never forgot about your kind heart or how your skin naturally smells like roses. I go every day regretting stepping onto the plane that led me to places far away from you.” “I love you deeper and deeper every day” Jane said as she laid her head on his shoulder. “You cut me deep, and I had to figure out that you leaving didn’t define me, but I eventually became stronger because of it all. You made me the successfully happy girl I am today, so thank you for that James.” “I am so sorry” he repeated, “I never meant to hurt you.” Silence took over as she soaked up his true apology. “You know what I was meant to do?” Jane question. “Love you. Forever and ever.” James was yet again speechless. His shy Jane was hurt by him, but made strong by her own doing. She had the power and the strength to find him. His travels were a meager deed, but her proclamation of love and footsteps towards him proved that she really was the best thing that could possibly happen to him. “You amaze me Jane, you really have forgiven me for leaving so hastily?” “Well that’s kind of what I help people with on a daily basis, so yes I have forgiven you. You had a reason to go, and I had a reason to stay.” They held hands for a while in silence. James reached over to move a strand of hair from her face to behind her ear, when he noticed her cheek was alive with tears. “Why are you crying?” “I never thought you would come back to me,” she whispered. “I spent hours in the attic of my little white office watching the boats in the ocean and thinking about you. I tried to send our memories to sea, but I failed everytime. And now you are here next to me and I feel something more than whole. I was full alone, but you being here seems to fill parts of me I didn’t even know existed.” “I am never going to leave you again Jane,” he calmly stated, “I need you, no job is worth living without the woman who puts the stars to shame, who once calmed all of my nerves with the chicken dance. Nothing is worth giving you up ever again.” Jane cried harder, “maybe all of this wasn’t for nothing, we were meant to be together James. And I can promise you that for the rest of time I will make you the most loved man alive, for I have bottled it all up for six years now. The power of separation didn’t stop me from wanting you.” Jame’s eyes sparkled with excitement, “Janey” he said, “Life was made for moments like this. You have gifted me hope in this last hour that we were made for each other. I will continue to make up for the time I so recklessly stole from us forever. You are the only thing I ever needed, the only thing I will ever want.” The dock rocked back and forth, but hand in hand, heart in heart, their love had more beauty than the stars above. Orion and the Big Dipper gleamed down upon the couple, and every twinkle was a sign that things were going to be okay. Some connections are unexplainable. Soulmates exist, and no one will ever be able to disclose the truths as to why. Just as mysteries exist in the sky, questions will always live in love.

After years of being a die-hard Nicholas Sparks fan, a hopeless romantic, and a self-proclaimed author, I decided to try my hand at romance writing. It’s harder than it looks. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll turn Jane and Jame’s relationship into a novel. 🙂 

Poems, Round Two

After spending an entire day working on English homework, I could not go without writing something meaningful to me. Yes, the ins and outs of Hamlet and Oedipus are interesting, but so is the craziness of a seventeen year olds life. Hope you enjoy. 😊

Show the world your might
Let your voice be heard
From miles away
Write with grace
Like you are running out of time
And soak up knowledge
Faster than a sponge
Dance with spontinuity
For not reason but fun
Prove to only yourself
That you are perfectly

Love can be daunting
Broken hearts can break again
Cracking hard
Now weaker than before

Madison she whispers
Letting the words change her
As the two syllables sink in
Igniting chaos
Worry wraps its way around the mind
Excitement attempts to take over
Negativity flows like water, feeling at home in the body
Positivity fights its way to the front
It sounds like home
But also disapointment
She cries out for answers
But has to wait for the walk of a lifetime
To the mailbox
Madison she whispers
Show me I’m worth it
Give me hope
Give me success
Let Mendota’s waves calm my heart
And spark a future 

Oh fluffy snow
You look so pretty, so fresh, so pure
But you mask planks of ice
And the harsh realities of winter
You give my car anxiety
Giving me angst
Instilling worry in my oh so nervous mother
Your beauty hurts the backs of men without snowblowers
Piling up high
But never enough for a snow day
Angering the MN native children
You are so  wonderfully hated

They hate you because you are quiet
But then mock you when you speak
No one cares
But there certainly are stares
They smile because you are pretty
But envy your ocean waved hair
No one cares
But there certainly are stares
They say they have depth
But their intellect flows out with their smoke
No one cares
But there certainly are stares
They build you up
Only to break you down
No one cares
But there certainly are stares

My heart is green
It bleeds the colors of the forest
Pumping out thoughts of envy
My hands are stained with grassy hues
For they touch the things that hurt the most
Like the memories of you
My eyes are like emeralds
And not in a beutiful way
But in a way thats dark
The things I look at are singed with leaves
Jealousy blinding, fogging up reality
Green is all around me
In the way I walk, the way I talk
Slowly changing everything


I’m going to go ahead and say that this year did in fact treat me well. It certainly wasn’t what I expected, that is for sure. But I learned a lot, I met new people, and I realized that life is everything but simple. I started the year off with heartbreak and self pity. Wallowing in sadness for far to long. I even forgot how to live, disconnecting myself from the people who only wanted to see me smile. Through G-Eazy concerts, taking care of electronic babies, and trying on prom dresses, I still hoped for something that was not good for me. I attended a single ladies valentines day dinner, if you haven’t experienced one of those I suggest you decline any future invitations. We sat around the dinner table, in awe of the fact that the red and white holiday was not spent with someone of the opposite sex. Quite awkward if you ask me. Valentines Day weekend my mom and I saw “The Choice” in theaters. I balled as the main male told the main female he wanted her to bother him forever. Forever! I went home and spent the night cutting up pictures and erasing signs of any part of my past I wanted to forget. I believe here was my revelation. I slowly but surly regained consciousness of reality and just how many possibilities for happiness existed. I toured colleges, exploring pieces of my future that I was to scared to think about. I created a blog to help share my side of the story titled high school. I traveled to Hawaii and took in the beauty of Maui, rattled by the fact that this was my last solo trip with my parents as a child. The school year died down and I got senioritis quite early. Summer was full of adventures and sunset snuggles. Trips to the cabin refreshed my soul and late nights reminded me of my youth. My grandpa got sick, catapulting my family into a funk. My dad had to travel to the cornfields of Nebraska often, and worry became the new pastime. I could tell things were not looking up. But luckily, amazingly, surprisingly, things took a turn for the better. The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota used their insane intellect to figure out my grandpa simply had something temporarily wrong with him. He is now doing awesome, he found his joy again and I admire him deeply for this. Check out my summer post to learn all of the silly things I did. As senior year approached I realized that my dreams may be harder to achieve then previously thought. I spent hours on my college essays and had a fellow writer (professional) edit the crap out of them. We took an unusual approach to them, hoping to spark interest and love for me as a student and human being. We mocked my “chickenness” and portrayed my love for my certain dream college within my essays. I attempted to fill out the forms with accuracy and I conveyed myself as best I could. Stress oozed out of me constantly- and it still does. I joined, and helped start, the first newspaper at Prior Lake High School, writing articles, adding input, and learning the ins and outs of journalism. Hamlet haunted my dreams during APLIT’s tragedy unit, and I taught Spanish immersion kids at La Ola Del Lago. My family and I spent my last MEA in Duluth, Minnesota. I forgot just how beautiful of a town it was. The rock lined shore and the streets filled with local shops brought joy to my heart. We saw the falls, got some pie from Betty, and my parents spent time calming my college nerves. Thanksgiving passed as normal. And typical high school drama continued. Ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s jealousy, rumors, girl on girl resentment, and of course teachers teaching badly. Tonsillectomy pain surged during the Christmas season, but Hallmark movies kept me sane. Now that 2016 has passed, I am sad that what some call the easy years are over. Though I have learned countless things, ranging from less worry more fun, to working hard for good results. I feel like maybe I did not live as boldly as possible this last year, but that is going to change. 2017 is going to be scary, with graduation and college acceptance/denial letters, but I couldn’t be more prepared. A toast to the upcoming new year and a goodbye to the past: May all of our dreams come true, creating prosperity, happiness, love, and bold living, and may the past remind us that no matter how low we are things will always improve. May we remember that the possibilities are endless this new year, and that it will be impeccably awesome . So let the worries subside and raise a glass with me. Cheers to 2017, goodbye 2016. As I sit in bed listening to the Badgers play in the Cotton Bowl, I am reminded of just how amazing my life is to be given the opportunity to go to college and live greatly. Stay tuned to see what happens this new year. I wish everyone nothing but the best.

New Years Resolution(s)

Every year preceding 2017, I simply came up with one resolution. Out of the blue and it usually resembled the resolutions around me at events and such. So, I have never really made a resolution that was obtainable and personal. The cliche ones are boring, the impossible ones are stupid, and the simple ones seem like not enough. One year I vowed to stop biting my nails, another it was the classic work out more resolution, and I’m pretty sure last year I didn’t even make one. In my opinion the number of resolutions a person can have is infinite. The more the merrier. Starting 2017 off right with a list of things I want to accomplish seems to be the smartest thing to do.

  1. BE BOLD: Living life as a yes woman, shouting my opinions from the rooftops, learning to let go of things that I am not in control of. Wear what I want to wear, be who I want to be. Letting my fears propel me into a sea of wonder.
  2. LEAVE EXPECTATION BEHIND: This is a big one for me. Expectation leads to disappointment. And this past year has been corrupted by expectation. I want to be prepared for the worst, but aware of the potential perfection.
  3. EAT MORE PASTA: Weird? I don’t think so. My favorite food should be enjoyed as much as possible.
  4. FIND MY WHY: Your why- as in why are you here, what is your purpose in life. These are the deeper things. I want to understand what it is that makes me me, what it is that makes me unique. I need find something that proves to me that my individualism, my shyness, and my love to write all equate something incredibly special.
  5. RUN: This one is pretty simple, but a little to bland for my liking. So I am giving it a double meaning. Obviously, I want to run more. Feel my feet pound the ground while my heart pounds in my chest. I want to use this as an outlet to relive stress, anger, and energy. Second, I want to run full speed into life. Not looking back, not second guessing.
  6. WRITE OFTEN, WRTIE WELL: This is a no brainer. I want to practice, I want to be known for this. A good story or bundle of words can change someone altogether, and to me that is amazing.
  7. FIND BEAUTY IN EVERYTHING: Realizing that the boy who left was a blessing, understanding that the sunrise is more then just a mural of colors, and witnessing the little things. The somewhat misshaped chocolate or the dented specialty car did not lose beauty due to their imperfections, so I want to find the beauty in the ugly things, the horrors of the year.

I think that is about it. My seven things are a lot to handle. I cannot wait to take on this year, living large and having fun. Doing things I love. 2017 is simply the year of greatness and I can feel it.

Tonsillectomy Time

Due to a lack of time and an abundance of pain, my blog has been pretty dry these last thirteen days. A writer can pull excuses out of a hat to explain a stall on production, but mine are real (as I’m sure they all say). But, after seeing “Collateral Beauty” in theaters I was filled with motivation to do my life well, in honor of those who cannot. So I hopped onto WordPress and felt the passion I have flood to the tips of my freshly manicured fingers. Here goes nothing. On the 22nd of December, I shakily walked into a hospital fairly close to home. My feet felt like bricks, heavy and dense. My tummy was rumbling like the mountains giving birth to baby rocks. I cracked a few jokes, as I always do when fear comes around, and smiled at my dad who gave me the strength to, for lack of a better word, crush my surgery. I went through normal protocol along side my parents- signing consent forms, nervously starring at cups awaiting to be peed in, and undressing into a P.A.P.E.R. gown… yes paper. My first nurse led me to a pre-op room, where I reclined in a nice hospital lounger, with worn leather and germs only God can name. Here, I whined about the IV and pretended I was watching Good Morning America in my kitchen rather than an icky room with sticky floors. I met with doctors and nurses, confirming that yes, I was indeed having a procedure slicing portions of my throat off. The good thing about this part was that the hospital gifted me a pair of nice purple socks with white grippers on the bottom, and hugging bears for detail, talk about fashion. Quickly, an hour soared by and I was escorted to surgery. I turned towards my parents at the corridor and made a face that read “help me, I’m being led to torture.” Less dramatically, my male nurse showed me to my surgical room, which was brighter than a Monday morning after a snowstorm. I laid down on a t-shaped bed, or lack there of considering it was quite skinny, and spread my arms outward. I prepared mentally for the rapidly approaching IV. The anesthesiologist reassured me by explaining that he would numb the area first. My narrow thinking lead me to believe that this meant a nice ointment would be slowly massaged into the preferred area… wrong. Instead of one needle. I now had two to fear. So, the female “grandma” nurse attempted to calm me down with talk of college and my future (little does she know this stresses me out more) while the anesthesiologist pricked me twice. My fears were again soothed and rendered stupid, for it was easy as pie. The last thing I remember in this room was counting in Spanish as they lulled me to sleep. My Spanish V talents had finally paid off, and I’m positive I impressed the genius doctors around me. The next thing, vivid in my mind, was waking up in the recovery “room” with walls of curtains. They made an exception for my adolescent self and allowed my mom to visit early. You will have to ask her for a full recap of my loopy self, but I can assure you I was quite obnoxious. I do not remember much, but from my fuzzy thoughts and my moms hilarious recap my awakening consisted of sassy hand gestures for more ice chips, back and forth banter of if I look more like Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie, and rude comments spoken a little to loudly about a man with bandages over his eye. One nurse from my hometown was even nice enough to bring me an Icee, and of course this made me feel incredibly special. I was finally wheeled back into yet another room, in what I called a “fancy” chair. Here another nurse informed me of the side effects and urged I do not use my phone- which pissed me off just a tad. She also warned that if my throat wounds reopened, leading to major blood flow, that an ambulance would be necessary. Note to current nurses out there, try not to scare the girls coming off of anesthesia. We went home, after what seemed like forever, and the moment I set my eyes on the living room couch I was out like a light. Things didn’t get better from here. The days seemed long and I slept for most of them. Day three, Christmas Eve, was incredibly painful. And I believe day four was even worse. Now things have died down, and the pain is tolerable. I didn’t get addicted to Oxycontin, on the bright side, and I reiterated the notions in my head that dubbed my parents as extraordinary. I seriously could not have done this without them. From waking up at insane hours of the night to thousands of trips up and down the stairs, my mom has done it all. A few days into recovery I experienced some extreme sadness, clearly underestimating the intensity of surgery, pain, and time associated with healing. Unfortunately this experience was worsened due to either the negative effects after medicine or a bug caught at the hospital. For your safety I will just say this left me in the bathroom for hours on end. Overall, everything went okay. I am thankful that this has gifted me a wide airway and hopefully no more pain, I am also extremely happy that the surgery went smoothly. I have spent a lot of time on the couch and in bed, slurping down hot and cold liquids, while continuously longing for pizza. My new laptop has been a boredom stopper, and it has made me feel like my blogging is more impactful, like I am even more a writer than before, if that is possible. The journey is not over. I am still waiting for the scabs to fall, potentially swallowing them whole *gag.* And I am anticipating a quiet New Years. Nothing that I cannot handle. If I can make it through a Telephonectomy (the removal of a cell phone immediately after surgery for an extended period of time), the taste of three day old yogurt constantly in my mouth, and random spurts of intense tiredness, then I can make it through well anything, but most importantly what is to come regarding the recovery. Again, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me through this tough time (don’t judge this is one of the hardest surgeries ever) and to everyone who held me in their thoughts on the big day. I am surrounded by the most wonderful people in the world. Wonderfully, I will never forget this crazy two weeks thanks to my blog. As 2017 looms closer I hope to remain positive towards the rest of my tonsil journey and all that is to come. I think I may need my throat to be healed later on in January for some celebratory yelling, if you know what I mean, fingers crossed, knock on wood (shoot I just made myself nervous again). I have not done this yet, but also thank you to everyone who reads this, likes my posts, and pushes me as a writer to be literally brilliant.