Sunday, July 28, 2013


This weekend, all the girl cousins on my mom's side stayed together in Lauren's [the oldest cousin] apartment in Chicago. There were six of us staying in the Lakeview apartment [we kicked Lauren's boyfriend out] and we couldn't have had a better time. We are rarely together at the same time because of differences in college breaks, jobs, etc., and this weekend we got so lucky to all be together. 
Lauren planned fun filled days for us, and we really bonded as a family. We went out for sushi, saw a Second City [comedy] show, went to a street market, and shopped like it was nobody's business. [all of my older cousins have an impeccable sense of style] We reminisced about our past memories and talked about the other family members. We discussed college and marriage and everything in between. We talked about our ill grandfather and our deceased grandmother and all the fond memories we have of them. We laughed until we cried and we came up with some really memorable inside jokes. 
I think spending time with people who share such a similar upbringing is necessary in everyone's life. In my cousins I can totally see the morals that my grandparents instilled in our parents, who instilled them in us. We all have a dry[ish] sense of humor, have an interest in style, work hard, and enjoy cottage cheese. We like searching for good deals, walking off our meals, and Instagramming everything around us to capture the moment. We like watching funny movies and playing Catchphrase at 10 in the morning. It's crazy to me how similar relatives can be, but I totally love it. I love seeing how [even hundreds of miles apart] we are so alike. Family values are important, and it makes me glad to know that our family's future is safe with the "super sexy six." [what my 14 year old sister named our little posse] 

[from left to right] Elly, Rachel, me, Julie, Amy, Lauren
Lauren and I on the bus [the main form of transportation for the weekend]

Our little posse at the Second City show at the UP comedy club

The cousins [including Brian, Lauren's brother, and Mark, Lauren's boyfriend] out to brunch this morning at Anne Sathers

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ball State Journalism Workshops

I made it. It's crazy for me to say this, because at the beginning of with week I was scared and unsure and doubtful. How can I possibly be editor-in-chief of a 300 page book when I know absolutely nothing about ladder planning and endsheets and chronological organization? 
This week I spent my time at a 5-day journalism workshop on the Ball State campus. I was there with both of my advisers and 18 other staff members. We learned and learned and worked crazy hard and ate cafeteria junk food and played volleyball and took selfies and worked even more. I was pushed to my very breaking point by two of the most amazing teachers, Nancy Hastings and Nicole Wilson.
I was in a class with 28 other editors-in-chief where we learned about everything from leadership to theme development to design to staff management. We created our yearbooks from the bottom up and learned life lessons along the way. 
Our class was discussion heavy, and the comments and suggestions from other editors helped me really build the plans that we are evolving into a yearbook. 
I also learned important life lessons from my amazing advisers. From my experience at Ball State, I learned the importance of confident body language and the necessary trait of doing publications to produce a piece of art, not to please others or gain friends. I have developed into a powerful, productive, professional leader and I believe that is all it takes to make an award-winning yearbook. 
Events like these make me confident in not only where I fit in at my high school, but where I will end up in the future. People like Wad and VP [fabulous advisers/yearbook extraordinares] and Mrs. Hastings make me feel that this was my calling. And I love every bit of it.

One of my lovely advisers, Wad. She has ghosts in her house, is addicted to chewing ice, and has a daughter who thinks she's Snow White. 

My Yearbook Leaders [YBK] class photo. How original/adorable/awesome are we?
[most of] the staff that came to the workshops. We are such a dysfunctional family and even though we fight and laugh and cry, we are still as close as ever. I love being around people who share a love for something so beautiful [yearbook] 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Wisdom is a very abstract term. It can mean wisdom of different topics, ideas, or basically anything one chooses to focus on. One can be wise in terms of general intelligence or life experience or comic books or car racing or art or science. Everyone is wise in some aspect or another.  
I was at my oral surgeon's office yesterday for an evaluation before I get my wisdom teeth removed. Doctor's offices make me nervous, so I tried to calm myself down by reading the generic "wisdom teeth for dummies" brochure. The stock-photo trifold explained all types of complications that come with surgery as well as a brief infographic on what those giant teeth are doing under my bone and why they need to be extracted. [things that made me even more anxious] It also said that these teeth are developed and extracted between the ages of 17 and 24, known as the wisest years, which gives these teeth their name. 
I agreed that this age range could be considered the wisest years, as young adults are known to have strong opinions, read strong opinionated books, and talk about strong opinionated subjects. During this time, young adults break away from their parent's beliefs and form their own set of morals. They go off to institutes of higher learning and build on their knowledge and focus on subjects they want to become wise in. Young adults have the drive, and seek wisdom wherever they go. 
I was always told that I was "wise beyond my years." I never really understood that, but now I realize what my parents friends, relatives, and coworkers meant. I seek the knowledge. I seek the wisdom of others. I never can quite quench my thirst for books or essays or movies or any source of information. I was an early talker, walker, and gawker and I really did learn to observe the world around me through my favorite stories. 
Now that I am in my so-to-speak "wisest years" I feel that I have no choice but to continue my quest for wisdom and knowledge. I am always trying to challenge myself in areas I enjoy, as well as those I don't so much. [Math, Science, etc.] I'm reading good literature and teaching myself graphic design and practicing true Vinyasa yoga and becoming my own person. I am creating and learning and soaking in the knowledge I seek. I am reading about topics I never thought would capture my attention [the universe, relativity, the universal quantum theory of gravity, black holes, stars, etc.] 
So, for those who are in their wisest years, I challenge you to challenge yourself. Become wiser, more knowledgeable young adults. Make our generation the wisest one yet. Stop playing dumb or making stupid decisions. Your wisest years are now

Friday, July 5, 2013


Yes, I know Independence Day is for celebrating our country's emancipation from the British regime, but I'm here to talk about independence as a person. Becoming an adult, basically. 
As I blogged about before, my family went on vacation, leaving me home alone to take care of the house. This week, I have grown up so much, becoming a very independent young adult. Adult in the sense of doing my own laundry, washing my own dishes, securing the house for the night, cooking for myself, and making sure I am where I need to be. This freedom has also allowed me to go for spontaneous pedicures [with my new blogger friend Marisa] and watch fireworks from my hatchback in a Culvers parking lot with an old best friend. I go to sleep when I want, eat what I want when I want [ice cream at 1 am, salad at 11 in the morning], and buy what I want [a new clock and string lights for my room]. I run errands for my parents, make sure the garbage and dry cleaning are taken out on the correct days and even send my little sister care packages to camp. My friend and I were talking tonight about people who try to grow up too fast, and how those people don't understand what growing up is. Growing up isn't hooking up with random guys or getting drunk at silly sleepovers. It's not staying out late and lying to your parents. It's not about sneaking around and eventually getting caught. Growing up is going to the UPS store to send back a cable box that needs to be replaced. It's vacuuming up your mess and putting away laundry, even if it isn't yours. It's about setting the burglar alarm when you leave the house and making sure the outside lights are on. It's about eating right [most of the time] without anyone shoving vegetables down your throat. It's about getting gas and getting groceries and getting paid at a job you work hard at. It's about realizing your responsibilities as an adult. Independence is the ability to live alone, and not rely on parents or boys or friends or anyone. Independence is about being mature, responsible, and classy. Happy Fourth of July. 
xxx 🇺🇸

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Alone at Last

My youngest sister is away at camp. The rest of my family is away for a week at a volleyball tournament in Dallas. Where does that leave me? All alone. I decided to stay home so I could work and get things done that I have wanted to take care of. Everyone keeps [jokingly] asking me, "so when is the giant party?" My friends, I am already throwing a giant party. It's a coming of age party that I am throwing for myself. Alone. I call it "Samantha Grows Up Bash 2K13" It's a week-long barrage of festivities that everyone is welcome to partake in. Activities include:

  • doing my laundry
  • doing the dishes
  • doing yoga
  • baking
  • singing at an embarassing volume
  • running errands for my parents
  • running errands for myself
  • taking selfies
  • taking the dog out
  • college applications
  • summer reading 
  • summer school
  • working at the restaurant
  • spending all the money I make at the restaurant
  • spending too much time on social media 
  • spending way too much time playing Candy Crush
I do, in fact go a little crazy and indulge sometimes. 
I had ice cream for dinner last night and I watched reruns of Full House until 2:30 in the morning.